An essential condition and factor to be held in utmost consideration is the issue of safety when working with a plasma cutter. There is a generation of great force and heat in order to be able to cut through the metal.
This makes it capable of causing a great harm to your body, a plasma cutter can inflict a very serious injury on you if it mistakenly gets at you. So it must held very important that you handle it with caution to forestall the occurrence of any possible accident.
This piece is aimed at providing you with tips on how to use plasma cutter safely and the proper way to handle the machine when cutting with it. The reality is that plasma cutter has killed many people because of their carelessness and lack of precautions. It is important to be extremely careful.
What Are The Hazards Of Plasma Cutting?
Plasma cutting has a hazard of fire and explosion. Plasmas can burst into flames or explode when exposed to flammable materials. The high velocity of the plasma stream can also cause injury. Even with proper safety precautions, fire or explosion may occur if a plasma torch is used for cutting operations on certain metals in airless environments such as vacuum furnaces.
What Safety Procedures Are Necessary When Plasma Cutting?
Because of the high-temperature and ionized gas conditions, plasma cutting is generally considered a hazardous process. The plasma arc causes temperatures of up to 2500°C and produces a significant amount of radiant energy. Follow the below safety procedures to ensure you and other personnel at your facility are safe.
1. Unsuitable environmental conditions.
It is not advisable to operate your plasma in a wet environment. Electric current can be conducted through water. Due to this electricity conductivity you should not be operating your plasma cutter under a wet environment.
2. Ensure protection of your vital organs
The two eyes are very important sense organs in everybody and cannot be tampered with. The fact is that they are highly delicate and need to be protected at all cost. Careless exposure of the eyes to rays, fumes and flare can damage them partially or completely. While you cut with plasma cutter, molten particles blown away by the cutting machine fly to and fro. The particles can fly into your eyes and cause serious damages.
Anytime that you are cutting with this machine, it is only wise that you put on protective eyes gear. Keep it in mind that it is not every goggle that is designed for welding. It is, therefore, of great importance that you wear the right goggle type for maximum eye protection. One very necessary practice is to ensure the protection of people around your work piece. Whenever you have people coming around where you are working, you should inform them about the potential danger this machine can cause to you.
3. Wear protection for your face and skin
When using the plasma cutter, there are molten particles that fly around which can hit you at the face. So, you should get protection for your face by wearing welding helmet that protects the whole face area. Also get an overall protective gear and put it on to keep your skin safe from flying particles. Always wear shock resistant gloves. Usually plasma cutter takes high voltage electric energy just to perform operation. Hence, you should put on shock resistant gloves when you are working since it is metal, to keep yourself against electric shock in case you mistakenly have contact with the metal material.
4. Protect Your ears
This is another important sense organ that you need to protect when cutting with a plasma cutter. A noisy environment can cause damage to the ear. So when you are cutting, it is advisable that you protect the ear from the noise generated by plasma arc by wearing ear plugs which would help to reduce the noise entering your ears.
5. Follow User Manual
Get familiar with the manufacturer safety tips. Go through the user manuals and follow the safety tips provided in the manufacturer’s user manual.
6. Avoid any flammable materials
There are sparks and flames of fire that are generated during cutting. Therefore, you need to ensure that you eradicate all flammable substance where you are working.
7. Work in a well-ventilated area
You need maximum ventilation, your site or workspace should be well ventilated as the use of plasma cutter can toxify your air because all the toxic fumes and gases can create toxic gases and fumes.
8. Put on insulated shoes and wears with shock resistant protection.
You should protect against the event of shock completely by putting on shock resistant shoes and gears that keep against the passage of electric current just to insulate yourself.
What PPE Should Be Worn When Operating A Plasma Arc Cutter?
When plasma cutting, the following personal protective equipment (PPE) should always be worn:
Safety Glasses/Goggles- to protect your eyes from splashes of molten metal or flammable vapors.
Liner Gloves- to keep your skin protected from heat and splashes of molten metal.
Hearing Protection- to keep your ears from being damaged by the dangerous noise levels that a plasma cutting machine generates. Sound levels can exceed 120 decibels, which is about as loud as a gun going off right next to your ear!
Lined Leather Boots- to protect your feet and legs from heat, splashes, friction and other hazards.
Can Using A Plasma Cutter Make You Sick?
Yes. The electrically charged plasma stream used in a typical plasma cutter can be detrimental to your health.
If the air surrounding the work area has been contaminated with hazardous materials, they could end up on your skin as you work in and around the cutting process. If this happens, you may have adverse effects from exposure to hazardous vapors.
These effects include respiratory irritation, nausea, dizziness and impaired vision. If you are experiencing any adverse symptoms, immediately leave the area and seek medical assistance.
Plasma Cutting Machine Safety Checklist
- Are all operators wearing the correct safety equipment?
- Is your facility up to ANSI Z9.1, OSHA and other applicable standards regarding working conditions?
- Has it been inspected by a professional who can ensure that you follow the most current codes for your type of work environment?
- Are no flammable liquids, gas or dust being used in the surrounding area?
- Are all electrical cords and cables safely out of the way so they cannot become entangled with any part of your plasma cutter or other equipment.
- Is your machine securely mounted to a stand or table?
- Is the power cord properly plugged into a grounded outlet?
- Has is anyone been involved in an accident during the use or maintenance of the plasma cutting machine?
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