A safety guide for plasma cutting

With the launch of new inventions and so many manufacturers providing machines at a reasonable cost, the use of plasma cutters has been on a constant rise. With its ease of use and manuals providing details on how to effectively use plasma cutters, it is one sought after instrument that small scale industries and individual hobbyists, artists and shop owners use regularly. With its increase in use day by day, it is only fair if a safety guide for plasma cutting is in its place. Inappropriate use and not wearing protective gear while using could have dangerous effects on user. The most affected parts are eyes and arms of the user. Let us take a look at the basic safety measures that should be adopted while using a plasma cutter:

Basic Safety

  • It is advisable if laymen and unauthorized be supervised when using the instrument.
  • The user guides have to be completely read and gone through before using it.
  • Ensure to inform neighborhood and surrounding people about the plasma cutter being used.

Wearing appropriate protective Gear

The arc when in use produces bright and intense light that are harmful to eyes. Unless protected the damage can cause visual impair too. Use of protective gear for eyes and arms in particular is essential and mandatory. It is also advised for helpers and people surrounding the place. The gear might include one or all of the following

  • Goggles
  • Helmets
  • Welding aprons which are heat resistant and non-inflammable
  • Welding Gloves

Wearing normal clothes appropriately

Also emphasize on normal clothes when you are about to work with a plasma cutter. Ensure to wear full clothes which do not have any bare skin exposed. Button up all your sleeves and cover up how much ever possible.

Avoid Gases and Hot Fumes

The gases and fumes which are as good as bi products of the process are health hazards which are best avoided. Not only the individual who uses but the surrounding people might get affected adversely.​

​Ventilation in the place where the cutting is done is important to keep the fumes at bay. It also helps if the process is done in an open area rather than a closed building.

If carrying out in a closed place it is important to keep windows and door open and well ventilated.

Ensure to remove any galvanized coating on metals before you start with plasma cutting. These coating may actually produce fumes which are toxic in nature.

Protect against Electrocution

  • Risks of fatal shocks come with these instruments. As it involves high watt of power it is necessary to protect and stay safe.
  • Ensure no surface is damp or wet and it completely dry before using any of the electric equipments
  • Always be sure to wear rubber gloves which are shock resistant to protect from electrocution
  • Wearing rubber boots or coverall helps in protection
  • The surface if covered in rubber works. Ensure to stand on a rubber surface while you are working on these equipments.

Protect against Electrocution

As the system itself demands working with hot fumes, burst of sparks and electricity, it is necessary that one is always wearing protective gear and using a safe environment. Proper distance needs to be maintained between the instrument and person to avoid any mishaps at the time of usage. The person working with the plasma cutter should maintain the said distance as mentioned in the user manual.

A fire drill needs to have been done and all the individuals working with such equipments need to be aware of the fire extinguishing techniques. A fire extinguisher should be kept handy at all times. In case of any mishaps, a first aid needs to be provided to the concerned person. First aid techniques should be educated to individuals working on it.

Some simple steps and general precautions are to be maintained at all times o ensure the safety of not the cutter alone but also the people in the vicinity. The user manuals will also provide details on what should not be done. These steps when kept in mind can also keep safe from any accidents. Clean air, protective gear, and well equipped individual are basic things for safety in plasma cutting.

  • April 3, 2017
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