Electrical Safety for Welding 131

“Electrical Safety for Welding” introduces users to the electrical hazards of arc welding and methods of reducing them. Arc welding requires a live electrical circuit, which presents several potential safety hazards. Electricity can cause burns, fires, and electric shock. There are two types of electric shock: primary voltage shock and secondary voltage shock. To prevent the risks associated with electricity, welders must make sure equipment is properly installed, grounded, and maintained. Welders must also use the necessary PPE and insulation to prevent injury.

After taking this class, users will have a good understanding of the major safety hazards associated with electricity and precautions that minimize these risks. This knowledge allows users to work more safely and effectively with electrical equipment, which is required for all arc welding processes.

Class Details

Class Name:
Electrical Safety for Welding 131
Description:
“Electrical Safety for Welding” introduces users to the electrical hazards of arc welding and methods of reducing them. Arc welding requires a live electrical circuit, which presents several potential safety hazards. Electricity can cause burns, fires, and electric shock. There are two types of electric shock: primary voltage shock and secondary voltage shock. To prevent the risks associated with electricity, welders must make sure equipment is properly installed, grounded, and maintained. Welders must also use the necessary PPE and insulation to prevent injury.

After taking this class, users will have a good understanding of the major safety hazards associated with electricity and precautions that minimize these risks. This knowledge allows users to work more safely and effectively with electrical equipment, which is required for all arc welding processes.
Version:
2.0
Difficulty:
Beginner
Number of Lessons:
19

Class Outline

  • Electricity in Welding
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Electrical Burns and Fire Hazards
  • Electric Shock
  • Dangers of Electric Shock
  • Primary Voltage Shock
  • Secondary Voltage Shock
  • Electrical Hazards Review
  • Electrical Safety Precautions
  • Welding Circuit
  • Welding Cables
  • Grounding
  • Electrical Circuit and Grounding Review
  • Electrically Hazardous Conditions
  • Insulation and PPE
  • Equipment Loading
  • Maintenance and Inspection
  • Proper Arc Welding Setup
  • Electrical Safety Precautions Review

Objectives

  • Describe electricity.
  • Explain how to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields.
  • Describe the negative consequences of electrically generated heat.
  • Describe electric shock.
  • Describe the dangers of electric shock.
  • Describe primary voltage shock.
  • Describe secondary voltage shock.
  • Describe basic electrical safety precautions.
  • Describe best practices for working with a welding circuit.
  • Describe best practices for the work and electrode cables.
  • Describe grounding in arc welding.
  • Describe electrically hazardous conditions and processes recommended for these conditions.
  • Describe insulation and PPE for electrical safety.
  • Describe equipment ratings and capacity.
  • Describe maintenance and inspection for electrical safety.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
AC Alternating current. Electricity that reverses direction at regularly recurring intervals of time. AC switches direction 60 times per second, or 60 hertz, in the U.S.
alternating current AC. Electricity that reverses direction at regularly recurring intervals of time. Alternating current switches direction 60 times per second, or 60 hertz, in the U.S.
American National Standards Institute ANSI. A private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates voluntary standards and systems. The American National Standards Institute writes nationally approved standards for the manufacturing industry.
amperage The amount of electricity flowing through a circuit. Amperage is measured in amperes or "amps" for short.
amperes A. The unit used to measure amperage. Amperes are also called "amps" for short.
arc The area in which electricity transfers from the electrode to the workpiece. The arc generates the heat that melts the base metals.
atom A particle that makes up elements. An atom is the smallest distinguishable unit of an element that retains the element's characteristics.
blow To automatically open a circuit to prevent damage and injury. Blown fuses indicate problems in electrical circuits.
capacity The amount of electricity that a conductor can carry safely. Capacity indicates how much current can flow through a device without it overheating.
circuit breakers A device that detects excess current to prevent overheating in a circuit. A circuit breaker often contains a bimetallic strip that bends and trips a switch to open a circuit.
circuits A closed path through which electricity flows. Circuits consist of several different components connected by conductors.
class C fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher that is approved for putting out fires caused by live electrical equipment. Class C fire extinguishers extinguishers and multi-purpose fire extinguishers are the only extinguishers rated to put out fires caused by faulty wiring and overloaded circuits.
codes A collection of laws or standards that outline practices for a particular application. Codes for welding ensure safe welding practices and high-quality welded products.
compressed air Air that has been forced into a small space at high pressure. Compressed air is often used to clean electronics.
conductors A material that allows electricity to flow. Conductors are typically metals.
constant voltage CV. A power source that maintains a constant voltage setting while compensating for changes in amperage. Constant voltage power sources are typically used for GMAW.
DC Direct current. Electricity that travels in one direction. DC does not reverse the direction of flow.
diameter The distance from one edge of a cable's cross-section to the opposite edge. Diameter determines a welding cable's capacity.
direct current DC. Electricity that travels in one direction. Direct current does not reverse the direction of flow.
duty cycle The amount of time in a ten-minute period that an electrical device can operate without overheating. Duty cycle ratings are given as a percentage of a ten-minute period.
duty cycle The amount of time in a ten-minute period that an electrical device can operate without overheating. Duty cycle ratings are given as a percentage of the ten-minute period.
electric shock The flow of electricity through the body. Electric shock can be fatal.
electrical box A metal cabinet in a building where power from the electrical distribution system enters and is distributed throughout the building. The electrical box connects to every circuit and device in the building.
electrical burn A burn caused by the flow of electrical current through tissue or bone. Electrical burns may occur when handling wiring or electrical equipment that has been improperly maintained.
electrical faults A dangerous electrical condition that prevents current from completing its circuited as intended. Electrical faults include short circuits and open circuits.
electricity A form of energy created by the movement of electrons. Electricity melts the base metals during arc welding.
electrode A device that conducts electricity to the weld in arc welding. Electrodes may also serve as filler metal.
electrode cable The path used in arc welding to conduct electricity between the power source and the electrode. The electrode cable must be in good condition and installed correctly to prevent injury.
electrode holder An insulated handle that clamps onto an electrode. The electrode holder must be dry and in good condition.
electromagnetic fields EMFs. The area in and around an energized conductor that exhibits electric and magnetic properties. Electromagnetic fields can present safety hazards for welders.
electrons A negatively charged particle that orbits the nucleus of an atom. Electrons flowing between atoms causes electricity.
EMF Electromagnetic field. The area in and around an energized conductor that exhibits electric and magnetic properties. EMFs can present safety hazards for welders.
enclosure The metal frame or case of an electrical device such as a welding power source. The enclosure protects the wiring inside the power source.
fuses A device that detects excess current to prevent overheating in a circuit. A typical fuse has a component that melts to open a circuit.
gas metal arc welding GMAW. An arc welding process in which the bare wire electrode and inert shielding gas are fed to the weld through a welding gun. Gas metal arc welding is also referred to as MIG or MAG welding.
grounded Safely connected to an alternate return path for current in case a problem prevents it from returning like normal. Grounded equipment diverts current to prevent electric shock.
grounding A means of providing a safe alternate return path for current that automatically disconnects power if a fault prevents current from flowing like normal. Grounding protects the electrical system and substantially reduces the risk of electric shock.
grounding cable A dedicated path that conducts fault currents from a welding workpiece to a neutral source. The grounding cable attaches to the workpiece or a worktable or fixture on which the workpiece rests.
grounding conductor The wire that provides a low-resistance path to ground for fault currents. Grounding conductors are usually bare copper or covered with green insulation.
hot wire The wire that provides power to an electrical device or load. The hot wire is usually covered with black insulation.
input voltage Electricity from an electrical distribution system that supplies power to electrical equipment. Input voltage for welding power sources is higher than the voltage used during arc welding.
insulation Material that resists the flow of electricity. Insulation can prevent electric shock when used properly.
insulators A material that resists the flow of electricity. Insulators include rubber and plastic.
lead A conductor that provides a path for electricity to flow. Leads inside the power source are electrically charged when the machine is on.
live Electrically charged or energized. Live components carry electricity and present a risk of electric shock.
multi-purpose fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher that is approved for putting out several different types of fires. Multi-purpose fire extinguishers, also called ABC fire extinguishers, are capable of putting out electrical fires.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association NEMA. An organization that sets standards for electrical equipment used in the United States. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association also provides ratings for electrical devices.
National Fire Protection Association NFPA. A non-profit organization that maintains standards of public safety and fire prevention and outlines the minimum safety requirements for any electrical installation. The National Fire Protection Association produces the National Electric Code® (NEC®).
neutral wire The wire that conducts power back to its source and completes the circuit. The neutral wire is usually covered with white insulation.
nonconductive A material that does not conduct electricity. Nonconductive materials can provide insulation in welding environments.
pacemakers An electronic medical device that helps control irregular heartbeats. Pacemakers regulate the rhythm at which the heart beats.
paralysis Loss or impairment of the use of a body part or region of the body. Paralysis can be caused by electric shock.
personal protective equipment PPE. Safety equipment that workers wear or use to prevent injury in the workplace. Personal protective equipment includes welding helmets, long gloves, and safety footwear.
polarity Having two oppositely charged poles, one positive and one negative. Polarity determines the direction in which current flows.
power source The device that provides the electricity needed to perform arc welding. The power source is energized by the input voltage supply.
PPE Personal protective equipment. Safety equipment that workers wear or use to prevent injury in the workplace. PPE includes welding helmets, long gloves, and safety footwear.
PPE Personal protective equipment. Safety equipment that workers wear or use to prevent injury in the workplace. PPE includes welding helmets, long gloves, and safety glasses.
primary voltage shock An electric shock that originates from the input power supply. Primary voltage shocks are caused by simultaneously touching a lead inside an energized power source and another grounded object, such as the power source's case.
respiratory paralysis Loss or impairment of the use of the respiratory organs. Respiratory paralysis can result from electric shock and keeps a person from breathing.
scaffolds A temporary elevated platform consisting of metal or wooden crosspieces, supports or cables, and metal or wooden planking. Scaffolds allow welders to reach elevated workpieces and joints.
secondary voltage shock An electric shock that originates from the electrical current in the welding circuit. Secondary voltage shocks are caused by simultaneously touching two components of the welding circuit, such as the electrode and the workpiece.
shielded metal arc welding SMAW. An arc welding process that uses a flux-coated rod as its electrode. Shielded metal arc welding is also referred to as manual or stick welding.
short circuits The condition in which current takes a shorter, unintended path between two conductors. Short circuits cause excess current flow.
terminal A connecting point in a circuit where a wire can be attached to connect a component. A terminal may be the end of a wire or a fastener attached to a wire.
thermal contact burn A burn caused by fire or extreme heat. Thermal contact burns can be caused by faulty electrical equipment.
torch A tool used to generate the flame or arc for welding. A torch holds the electrode for arc welding.
trip To automatically open a circuit to prevent damage and injury. Tripped circuit breakers indicate problems in electrical circuits.
ventricular fibrillation Rapid and ineffective heartbeats. Ventricular fibrillation may lead to death within minutes unless a defibrillator is used.
voltage The electrical force or pressure that causes current to flow in a circuit. Voltage is measured in volts.
volts V. The unit used to measure the electrical force or pressure that causes current to flow in a circuit. Volts are units of voltage.
welding circuit The output circuit of a welding power source. The welding circuit consists of a closed path connecting several components.
welding gun A welding instrument that conducts electricity, guides the electrode, and, in some cases, releases shielding gas. Welding guns are used in some semi-automatic welding processes.
wire feeders A device that feeds wire electrode to the welding gun. The wire feeder may be built inside the power source or set beside it.
work cable The path used in arc welding to conduct electricity between the power source and the workpiece. The work cable must be in good condition and installed correctly to prevent injury.
work clamp The component that connects the work cable to the workpiece. The work clamp and the electrode are typically the only components that come in direct contact with the workpiece during welding.