Expert Research Reveals Tips to Minimize the Dangers of Welders

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – One of the experts’ research from Universitas Airlangga, Endang Dwiyanti, said there were 250 million cases of workplace accidents, and more than 160 million workers were suffering from diseases due to hazards at work in 2013. Besides, 1.2 million workers died due to accidents. While in 2014, the prevalence of accidents in welding workers in South India was 80%, with 24.4% being trained and competent welders.

From the data obtained, there were 124 accidents in welding activities and 86 cases of victims who received compensation in 2016. During 2017 (January-March), there were 41 accidents in welding with 37 cases of victims who received compensation, and the rest were 3 cases of abrasions, and 1 case was scratched.

Endang’s research conducted at Baja Gresik Fabrication Company explains the three main stages of the welding process. Namely, the preparation phase, implementation phase, and completion stage. Potential hazards in the preparation stage are electricity, scratches, and falling objects. While the potential hazards at the implementation stage are loud noise, gas and smoke, hot work climate, metal sparks, uncomfortable posture, work at height, and welding sparks. At the completion stage, there are potential electrical hazards and possible blisters.

“During the preparation phase, the activities carried out are preparing tools to be used such as the condition and availability of welding wires in the work area, the condition of the welding machine, the condition of the work area, and the condition of O2 tubes, CO2 and LPG cylinders,” said Endang.

“In welding wire examinations, the potential danger that can occur is scratched, open wounds, whereas when turning on the welding machine can cause electric shock,” he added.

During the implementation phase, said Endang, there were several potential dangers due to the welding process due to various ambient conditions, various work positions, as well as smoke and gas produced during the welding activity.

“Welding temperatures release high intensity and spark, which can cause a risk of burning to the welder. Welding temperatures carried out to 10,000 ° F. Welding can cause noise. This is caused by several factors such as work processes, work stages, and work area conditions, “she said.

From the research, Endang and her team classified the risks of hazards into high, medium, and low risk. High danger risks consist of death from electric shock and fire, falling from height, falling of material, and hearing loss. The severity of death due to electric shock and fire is one of the most severe because it can result in death.

While the risk of moderate danger, consisting of eye irritation due to sparks, respiratory infections, minor burns due to sparks, blisters, open wounds caused by sparks, burns caused by fire, reduced ability to hear, fatigue due to uncomfortable posture, and muscle aches. Potential hazards that have a low risk of danger are sparks, uncomfortable posture, gas and smoke, and noise.

Endang and the team found that risk control in steel fabrication companies in Gresik is safety talk, safety induction, safety inspection (in the workshop, LPG, CO2, and O2 gas distribution), work permits, use of PPE (work clothes, safety shoes, helmets, stoppers ears, face shields, masks, and gloves), and competent workers.

“Management of Risk can be applied with a hierarchical control approach. The risk control hierarchy is a sequence of prevention and control of risks that may arise, consisting of several sequential levels ranging from technical control (elimination, substitution, engineering), administrative control to control with the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), “she said. (*)

Author: Binti Q. Masruroh

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

Reference:

https://medic.upm.edu.my/our_journal/malaysian_journal_of_medicine_and_health_sciences_mjmhs/mjmhs_vol15_supplement_3_august_2019-51211

Nafilatul Fitri, Anggun Rofika Thursina, Endang Dwiyanti. 2018. Analysis of Risk Management At Welding in Gresik Steel Fabrication Company. Summer Crash Course: Environmental and Occupational Health Seminar (SEOH) hal 11

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