Respirators and Stitch welders
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  1. #1

    Respirators and Stitch welders

    We are a HVAC Pipe Duct and Fitting House. We stitch weld tubes that are later processed to become elbows and fittings.
    We operate four Stitch Welders. My operators wear gloves and sleeves and aprons to shield them from sparks, and sharp metal edges.
    They wear ear protection and safety glasses.

    Should they also be wearing respirators? If so is there a particular type?
    Thanks for your help

    mavnav

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    693

    Re: Respirators and Stitch welders

    Can you give more specifics on the type of metal/tubes they are stitch welding? Is any of it galvanized? How many welds per hour/shift?
    Are they wearing over the ear muffs or ear plugs? Full face shields or just glasses? These two items can affect how the respirator fits to the face.

    Are you worried about the nuisance odors or the fumes? Different filters are required for different types of materials.
    Millermatic 175 MIG
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    71

    Re: Respirators and Stitch welders

    At the sheetmetal factory I used to work with.. we had a wire seam welder machine(it cant stitch aswell), it had a local exhaust tube at the welding wheels, for the fan that vented atmospherically about 10ft above the machine.... we also had these attached to the spotwelders for use there.....

    As I recall the health and safety deemed that sufficient for safe working environment. None of us needed to wear a resperator or masks... but as always they were available whenever requested.

    We welded regular galv and galvalume sheetmetal.
    Obviously this may vary where ever you are and what jurisdiction says so.

    I guess ideally it would be better to have the venting to an outside source, but personally I had no concerns.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    7

    Re: Respirators and Stitch welders

    im no expert but..
    As said above, it is important to know what material and composition of the material is to choose a correct respirator (different alloys and coatings of the metal can produce different gases when welded) usually in low concentration, but too much exposure is deadly, knowing the welds per hour helps identify the amount of exposure, the CDC website shows the permitted exposures of most gases. (knowing this aids to choose a respirator because they are rated for different levels of exposure)

    Aswell, IF the safety is sufficient, it is usually a optional/personal choice to use a respirator
    BUT to be safer, adequate ventilation always helps, be in an open space if possible, use wind from fans if not from a natural source, fume extractors/collecters safely contain the gases and prevent them from entering the atmosphere (there are a couple different types, some better than others)

    Common gases in welding to avoid are manganese and Ozone, there are many more, hexavlent chromium, many oxides, etc..

    Different types of respirators that i know of >>DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU CHOOSE ONE<<
    Particulate, probably the most common, some fit well under welding hoods or other gear, good for fume particles but not for vapors (commonly rated N95, N99, N100, R95,R99,R100, P95,P99,P100, N=not suitable for oil mist, R=resistant to oil mist, P=protected against oil mist. 95=95% particles filtered, 99=99% particles filtered, 100= 99.97% particles filtered. from what ive read, N95 is suitable for welding (low oil environment) and CDC acceptable for some exposure to manganese)
    Air Purifying Respirators i dont know much about these, but they are usually accompanied by a respirator with hoses attached (this saves space in the face area and allows for welding hoods) that lead to a special air purifying machine usually on the users belt. Can be safer than a particulate mask due to the fact that air is pulled from an area opposite of the welding area
    SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) dont know much about these sorry :/ but can consist of a bottled oxygen source and is somewhat self explaining, uses a respirator with hoses

    if the welder is not directly over the weld, the health and safety of the welder should be acceptable, considering there is adequate ventilation
    i personally would not weld galvanized metal (zinc coated, zinc is toxic in gaseous form) without protection, or aluminum, im going to use my respirator as much as possible, i want to live a long time :3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    7

    Re: Respirators and Stitch welders

    ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE
    i dont know much about this either but workers have to be OSHA approved for wearing a respirator or something like that or a fine could be imposed on the company,probably should do more research on this if you plan to use respirators
    A MatchBox
    cracked and chipped 6010s and 7018s
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    124

    Re: Respirators and Stitch welders

    Quote Originally Posted by mckutzy View Post
    At the sheetmetal factory I used to work with.. we had a wire seam welder machine(it cant stitch aswell), it had a local exhaust tube at the welding wheels, for the fan that vented atmospherically about 10ft above the machine.... we also had these attached to the spotwelders for use there.....

    As I recall the health and safety deemed that sufficient for safe working environment. None of us needed to wear a resperator or masks... but as always they were available whenever requested.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pack_Wolf View Post
    Aswell, IF the safety is sufficient, it is usually a optional/personal choice to use a respirator
    BUT to be safer, adequate ventilation always helps, be in an open space if possible, use wind from fans if not from a natural source, fume extractors/collecters safely contain the gases and prevent them from entering the atmosphere (there are a couple different types, some better than others)
    Exactly, ventilation and fume extractors are the first choice, before you consider PPE, especially in a workshop with fixed machines / welding booths.
    Lately i have seen a lot of posts on WeldingWeb about respirators, I work in the oil&gas industry and they teach us a lot about safety.
    PPE should be your last resort !
    https://www.lion.com/lion-news/augus...rkplace-safety
    OSHA's Hierarchy of Controls
    We know that PPE is used to protect employees from hazards that can cause injury or illness through any one of several routes of exposure (e.g., contact, absorption, inhalation, injection).
    Before we move on with our discussion, let's look at where PPE ranks in terms of hierarchy of controls. Although certainly widespread throughout many workplaces, PPE is actually the least preferred method for controlling hazards. In fact, it occupies the last spot on the list of controls:
    1)Substitution/elimination
    2)Engineering controls
    3)Administrative and work practice controls
    4)Personal Protective Equipment
    This means OSHA considers PPE to be the last resort for workplace safety.
    If the hazard cannot be removed from the workplace or engineered out through mechanisms, and employee exposure to the hazard cannot be mitigated by work practices, then, and only then, should the employer consider PPE for employees
    And from OSHA itself https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoust...s/control.html

    Engineering controls would be the installation of Local Exhaust Ventilation/fume extractors for welding fume`s
    Miller agrees https://www.millerwelds.com/products...f-fume-control
    The second most effective level of control recommended by OSHA requires controlling the hazard through a physical change to the workplace or a change in the design of equipment, such as increased ventilation. Miller’s complete line of innovative extraction systems provides total weld fume solutions for any environment.

    The fourth level of the OSHA Hierarchy is personal protective equipment, specifically, respirators.
    When engineering controls are not feasible, while they are being implemented or when they do not reduce exposure levels enough, respiratory protection should be implemented

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