§ 1910.252 General Requirements
OSHA - 29 CFR 1910 Subpart Q:
1910.253 Oxygen Fuel Gas Welding & Cutting
1910.254 Arc Welding and Cutting
1910.255 Resistance Welding
(a) Fire prevention and protection -
(b) Protection of personnel -
(1) Basic precautions. For elaboration of these basic precautions and of the special precautions of paragraph (a)(2) of this section as well as a delineation of the fire protection and prevention responsibilities of welders and cutters, their supervisors (including outside contractors) and those in management on whose property cutting and welding is to be performed, see Standard for Fire Prevention in Use of Cutting and Welding Processes, NFPA Standard 51B, 1962, which is incorporated by reference as specified in § 1910.6. The basic precautions for fire prevention in welding or cutting work are:
(i) Fire hazards. If the object to be welded or cut cannot readily be moved, all movable fire hazards in the vicinity shall be taken to a safe place.
(ii) Guards. If the object to be welded or cut cannot be moved and if all the fire hazards cannot be removed, then guards shall be used to confine the heat, sparks, and slag, and to protect the immovable fire hazards.
(iii) Restrictions. If the requirements stated in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(1)(ii) of this section cannot be followed then welding and cutting shall not be performed.
(2) Special precautions. When the nature of the work to be performed falls within the scope of paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section certain additional precautions may be necessary:
(i) Combustible material. Wherever there are floor openings or cracks in the flooring that cannot be closed, precautions shall be taken so that no readily combustible materials on the floor below will be exposed to sparks which might drop through the floor. The same precautions shall be observed with regard to cracks or holes in walls, open doorways and open or broken windows.
(ii) Fire extinquishers. Suitable fire extinguishing equipment shall be maintained in a state of readiness for instant use. Such equipment may consist of pails of water, buckets of sand, hose or portable extinguishers depending upon the nature and quantity of the combustible material exposed.
(iii) Fire watch.
(A) Fire watchers shall be required whenever welding or cutting is performed in locations where other than a minor fire might develop, or any of the following conditions exist:
(iv) Authorization. Before cutting or welding is permitted, the area shall be inspected by the individual responsible for authorizing cutting and welding operations. He shall designate precautions to be followed in granting authorization to proceed preferably in the form of a written permit.
(1) Appreciable combustible material, in building construction or contents, closer than 35 feet (10.7 m) to the point of operation.
(B) Fire watchers shall have fire extinguishing equipment readily available and be trained in its use. They shall be familiar with facilities for sounding an alarm in the event of a fire. They shall watch for fires in all exposed areas, try to extinguish them only when obviously within the capacity of the equipment available, or otherwise sound the alarm. A fire watch shall be maintained for at least a half hour after completion of welding or cutting operations to detect and extinguish possible smoldering fires.
(2) Appreciable combustibles are more than 35 feet (10.7 m) away but are easily ignited by sparks.
(3) Wall or floor openings within a 35-foot (10.7 m) radius expose combustible material in adjacent areas including concealed spaces in walls or floors.
(4) Combustible materials are adjacent to the opposite side of metal partitions, walls, ceilings, or roofs and are likely to be ignited by conduction or radiation.
(v) Floors. Where combustible materials such as paper clippings, wood shavings, or textile fibers are on the floor, the floor shall be swept clean for a radius of 35 feet (10.7 m). Combustible floors shall be kept wet, covered with damp sand, or protected by fire-resistant shields. Where floors have been wet down, personnel operating arc welding or cutting equipment shall be protected from possible shock.
(vi) Prohibited areas. Cutting or welding shall not be permitted in the following situations:
(A) In areas not authorized by management.
(vii) Relocation of combustibles. Where practicable, all combustibles shall be relocated at least 35 feet (10.7 m) from the work site. Where relocation is impracticable, combustibles shall be protected with flameproofed covers or otherwise shielded with metal or asbestos guards or curtains.
(B) In sprinklered buildings while such protection is impaired.
(C) In the presence of explosive atmospheres (mixtures of flammable gases, vapors, liquids, or dusts with air), or explosive atmospheres that may develop inside uncleaned or improperly prepared tanks or equipment which have previously contained such materials, or that may develop in areas with an accumulation of combustible dusts.
(D) In areas near the storage of large quantities of exposed, readily ignitible materials such as bulk sulfur, baled paper, or cotton.
(viii) Ducts. Ducts and conveyor systems that might carry sparks to distant combustibles shall be suitably protected or shut down.
(ix) Combustible walls. Where cutting or welding is done near walls, partitions, ceiling or roof of combustible construction, fire-resistant shields or guards shall be provided to prevent ignition.
(x) Noncombustible walls. If welding is to be done on a metal wall, partition, ceiling or roof, precautions shall be taken to prevent ignition of combustibles on the other side, due to conduction or radiation, preferably by relocating combustibles. Where combustibles are not relocated, a fire watch on the opposite side from the work shall be provided.
(xi) Combustible cover. Welding shall not be attempted on a metal partition, wall, ceiling or roof having a combustible covering nor on walls or partitions of combustible sandwich-type panel construction.
(xii) Pipes. Cutting or welding on pipes or other metal in contact with combustible walls, partitions, ceilings or roofs shall not be undertaken if the work is close enough to cause ignition by conduction.
(xiii) Management. Management shall recognize its responsibility for the safe usage of cutting and welding equipment on its property and:
(A) Based on fire potentials of plant facilities, establish areas for cutting and welding, and establish procedures for cutting and welding, in other areas.
(xiv) Supervisor. The Supervisor:
(B) Designate an individual responsible for authorizing cutting and welding operations in areas not specifically designed for such processes.
(C) Insist that cutters or welders and their supervisors are suitably trained in the safe operation of their equipment and the safe use of the process.
(D) Advise all contractors about flammable materials or hazardous conditions of which they may not be aware.
(A) Shall be responsible for the safe handling of the cutting or welding equipment and the safe use of the cutting or welding process.
(xv) Fire prevention precautions. Cutting or welding shall be permitted only in areas that are or have been made fire safe. When work cannot be moved practically, as in most construction work, the area shall be made safe by removing combustibles or protecting combustibles from ignition sources.
(B) Shall determine the combustible materials and hazardous areas present or likely to be present in the work location.
(C) Shall protect combustibles from ignition by the following:
(1) Have the work moved to a location free from dangerous combustibles.
(D) Shall secure authorization for the cutting or welding operations from the designated management representative.
(2) If the work cannot be moved, have the combustibles moved to a safe distance from the work or have the combustibles properly shielded against ignition.
(3) See that cutting and welding are so scheduled that plant operations that might expose combustibles to ignition are not started during cutting or welding.
(E) Shall determine that the cutter or welder secures his approval that conditions are safe before going ahead.
(F) Shall determine that fire protection and extinguishing equipment are properly located at the site.
(G) Where fire watches are required, he shall see that they are available at the site.
(3) Welding or cutting containers -
(i) Used containers. No welding, cutting, or other hot work shall be performed on used drums, barrels, tanks or other containers until they have been cleaned so thoroughly as to make absolutely certain that there are no flammable materials present or any substances such as greases, tars, acids, or other materials which when subjected to heat, might produce flammable or toxic vapors. Any pipe lines or connections to the drum or vessel shall be disconnected or blanked.
(ii) Venting and purging. All hollow spaces, cavities or containers shall be vented to permit the escape of air or gases before preheating, cutting or welding. Purging with inert gas is recommended.
(4) Confined spaces -
(i) Accidental contact. When arc welding is to be suspended for any substantial period of time, such as during lunch or overnight, all electrodes shall be removed from the holders and the holders carefully located so that accidental contact cannot occur and the machine be disconnected from the power source.
(ii) Torch valve. In order to eliminate the possibility of gas escaping through leaks or improperly closed valves, when gas welding or cutting, the torch valves shall be closed and the gas supply to the torch positively shut off at some point outside the confined area whenever the torch is not to be used for a substantial period of time, such as during lunch hour or overnight. Where practicable, the torch and hose shall also be removed from the confined space.
(1) General -
(i) Railing. A welder or helper working on platforms, scaffolds, or runways shall be protected against falling. This may be accomplished by the use of railings, safety belts, life lines, or some other equally effective safeguards.
(2) Eye protection -
(ii) Welding cable. Welders shall place welding cable and other equipment so that it is clear of passageways, ladders, and stairways.
(A) Helmets or hand shields shall be used during all arc welding or arc cutting operations, excluding submerged arc welding. Helpers or attendants shall be provided with proper eye protection.
(ii) Specifications for protectors.
(B) Goggles or other suitable eye protection shall be used during all gas welding or oxygen cutting operations. Spectacles without side shields, with suitable filter lenses are permitted for use during gas welding operations on light work, for torch brazing or for inspection.
(C) All operators and attendants of resistance welding or resistance brazing equipment shall use transparent face shields or goggles, depending on the particular job, to protect their faces or eyes, as required.
(D) Eye protection in the form of suitable goggles shall be provided where needed for brazing operations not covered in paragraphs (b)(2)(i)(A) through (b)(2)(i)(C) of this section.
(A) Helmets and hand shields shall be made of a material which is an insulator for heat and electricity. Helmets, shields, and goggles shall be not readily flammable and shall be capable of withstanding sterilization.
(B) Helmets and hand shields shall be arranged to protect the face, neck, and ears from direct radiant energy from the arc.
(C) Helmets shall be provided with filter plates and cover plates designed for easy removal.
(D) All parts shall be constructed of a material which will not readily corrode or discolor the skin.
(E) Goggles shall be ventilated to prevent fogging of the lenses as much as practicable.
(F) All glass for lenses shall be tempered, substantially free from striae, air bubbles, waves and other flaws. Except when a lens is ground to provide proper optical correction for defective vision, the front and rear surfaces of lenses and windows shall be smooth and parallel.
(G) Lenses shall bear some permanent distinctive marking by which the source and shade may be readily identified.
(H) The following is a guide for the selection of the proper shade numbers. These recommendations may be varied to suit the individual's needs.
|Shielded metal-arc welding - 1/16-, 3/32-, 1/8-, 5/32-inch electrodes
|Gas-shielded arc welding (nonferrous) - 1/16-, 3/32-, 1/8-, 5/32-inch electrodes
|Gas-shielded arc welding (ferrous) - 1/16-, 3/32-, 1/8-, 5/32-inch electrodes
|Shielded metal-arc welding:
|3/16-, 7/32-, 1/4-inch electrodes
|5/16-, 3/8-inch electrodes
|Atomic hydrogen welding
|Carbon arc welding
||3 or 4
|Light cutting, up to 1 inch
||3 or 4
|Medium cutting, 1 inch to 6 inches
||4 or 5
|Heavy cutting, 6 inches and over
||5 or 6
|Gas welding (light) up to 1/8 inch
||4 or 5
|Gas welding (medium) 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch
||5 or 6
|Gas welding (heavy) 1/2 inch and over
||6 or 8
Note: In gas welding or oxygen cutting where the torch produces a high yellow light, it is desirable to use a filter or lens that absorbs the yellow or sodium line in the visible light of the operation.
(3) Protective clothing - General requirements. Employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations shall be protected by personal protective equipment in accordance with the requirements of § 1910.132 of this part. Appropriate protective clothing required for any welding operation will vary with the size, nature and location of the work to be performed.
(4) Work in confined spaces -
(i) General. As used herein confined space is intended to mean a relatively small or restricted space such as a tank, boiler, pressure vessel, or small compartment of a ship.
(ii) Ventilation. Ventilation is a prerequisite to work in confined spaces. For ventilation requirements see paragraph (c) of this section.
(iii) Securing cylinders and machinery. When welding or cutting is being performed in any confined spaces the gas cylinders and welding machines shall be left on the outside. Before operations are started, heavy portable equipment mounted on wheels shall be securely blocked to prevent accidental movement.
(iv) Lifelines. Where a welder must enter a confined space through a manhole or other small opening, means shall be provided for quickly removing him in case of emergency. When safety belts and lifelines are used for this purpose they shall be so attached to the welder's body that his body cannot be jammed in a small exit opening. An attendant with a preplanned rescue procedure shall be stationed outside to observe the welder at all times and be capable of putting rescue operations into effect.
(v) Electrode removal. When arc welding is to be suspended for any substantial period of time, such as during lunch or overnight, all electrodes shall be removed from the holders and the holders carefully located so that accidental contact cannot occur and the machine disconnected from the power source.
(vi) Gas cylinder shutoff. In order to eliminate the possibility of gas escaping through leaks of improperly closed valves, when gas welding or cutting, the torch valves shall be closed and the fuel-gas and oxygen supply to the torch positively shut off at some point outside the confined area whenever the torch is not to be used for a substantial period of time, such as during lunch hour or overnight. Where practicable the torch and hose shall also be removed from the confined space.
(vii) Warning sign. After welding operations are completed, the welder shall mark the hot metal or provide some other means of warning other workers.
(c) Health protection and ventilation -
(1) General -
(i) Contamination. The requirements in this paragraph have been established on the basis of the following three factors in arc and gas welding which govern the amount of contamination to which welders may be exposed:
(A) Dimensions of space in which welding is to be done (with special regard to height of ceiling).
(B) Number of welders.
(C) Possible evolution of hazardous fumes, gases, or dust according to the metals involved.
(ii) Screens. When welding must be performed in a space entirely screened on all sides, the screens shall be so arranged that no serious restriction of ventilation exists. It is desirable to have the screens so mounted that they are about 2 feet (0.61 m) above the floor unless the work is performed at so low a level that the screen must be extended nearer to the floor to protect nearby workers from the glare of welding.
(iii) Maximum allowable concentration. Local exhaust or general ventilating systems shall be provided and arranged to keep the amount of toxic fumes, gases, or dusts below the maximum allowable concentration as specified in § 1910.1000 of this part.
(iv) Hazard communication. The employer shall include the potentially hazardous materials employed in fluxes, coatings, coverings, and filler metals, all of which are potentially used in welding and cutting, or are released to the atmosphere during welding and cutting, in the program established to comply with the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) ( § 1910.1200). The employer shall ensure that each employee has access to labels on containers of such materials and safety data sheets, and is trained in accordance with the provisions of § 1910.1200. Potentially hazardous materials shall include but not be limited to the materials itemized in paragraphs (c)(5) through (c)(12) of this section.
(v) Additional considerations for hazard communication in welding, cutting, and brazing.
(A) The suppliers shall determine and shall label in accordance with § 1910.1200 any hazards associated with the use of their materials in welding, cutting, and brazing.
(B) In addition to any requirements imposed by § 1910.1200, all filler metals and fusible granular materials shall carry the following notice, as a minimum, on tags, boxes, or other containers:
Do not use in areas without adequate ventilation. See ANSI Z49.1-1967 Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes published by the American Welding Society.
(C) Where brazing (welding) filler metals contain cadmium in significant amounts, the labels shall indicate the hazards associated with cadmium including cancer, lung and kidney effects, and acute toxicity effects.
(D) Where brazing and gas welding fluxes contain fluorine compounds, the labels shall indicate the hazards associated with fluorine compounds including eye and respiratory tract effects.
(vi) Prior to June 1, 2015, employers may include the following information on labels in lieu of the labeling requirements in paragraph (c)(1)(v) of this section:
(A) All filler metals and fusible granular materials shall carry the following notice, as a minimum, on tags, boxes, or other containers:
Welding may produce fumes and gases hazardous to health. Avoid breathing these fumes and gases. Use adequate ventilation. See ANSI Z49.1-1967 Safety in Welding and Cutting published by the American Welding Society.
(B) Brazing (welding) filler metals containing cadmium in significant amounts shall carry the following notice on tags, boxes, or other containers:
CONTAINS CADMIUM - POISONOUS FUMES MAY BE FORMED ON HEATING
Do not breathe fumes. Use only with adequate ventilation such as fume collectors, exhaust ventilators, or air-supplied respirators. See ANSI Z49.1-1967. If chest pain, cough, or fever develops after use call physician immediately.
(C) Brazing and gas welding fluxes containing fluorine compounds shall have a cautionary wording to indicate that they contain fluorine compounds. One such cautionary wording recommended by the American Welding Society for brazing and gas welding fluxes reads as follows:
This flux when heated gives off fumes that may irritate eyes, nose and throat.
1. Avoid fumes - use only in well-ventilated spaces.
2. Avoid contact of flux with eyes or skin.
3. Do not take internally.
(2) Ventilation for general welding and cutting -
(i) General. Mechanical ventilation shall be provided when welding or cutting is done on metals not covered in paragraphs (c)(5) through (c)(12) of this section. (For specific materials, see the ventilation requirements of paragraphs (c)(5) through (c)(12) of this section.)
(A) In a space of less than 10,000 cubic feet (284 m 3) per welder.
(ii) Minimum rate. Such ventilation shall be at the minimum rate of 2,000 cubic feet (57 m 3) per minute per welder, except where local exhaust hoods and booths as per paragraph (c)(3) of this section, or airline respirators approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, pursuant to the provisions of 30 CFR part 11, are provided. Natural ventilation is considered sufficient for welding or cutting operations where the restrictions in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section are not present.
(B) In a room having a ceiling height of less than 16 feet (5 m).
(C) In confined spaces or where the welding space contains partitions, balconies, or other structural barriers to the extent that they significantly obstruct cross ventilation.
(3) Local exhaust hoods and booths. Mechanical local exhaust ventilation may be by means of either of the following:
(i) Hoods. Freely movable hoods intended to be placed by the welder as near as practicable to the work being welded and provided with a rate of air-flow sufficient to maintain a velocity in the direction of the hood of 100 linear feet (30 m) per minute in the zone of welding when the hood is at its most remote distance from the point of welding. The rates of ventilation required to accomplish this control velocity using a 3-inch (7.6 cm) wide flanged suction opening are shown in the following table:
||Minimum air flow 1 cubic feet/minute
||Duct diameter, inches 2
|4 to 6 inches from arc or torch
|6 to 8 inches from arc or torch
|8 to 10 inches from arc or torch
|10 to 12 inches from arc or torch
(d) Industrial applications -
1 When brazing with cadmium bearing materials or when cutting on such materials increased rates of ventilation may be required.
2 Nearest half-inch duct diameter based on 4,000 feet per minute velocity in pipe.
(1) Transmission pipeline -
(i) General. The requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section and § 1910.254 of this part shall be observed.
(ii) Field shop operations. Where field shop operations are involved for fabrication of fittings, river crossings, road crossings, and pumping and compressor stations the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section and §§ 1910.253 and 1910.254 of this part shall be observed.
(iii) Electric shock. When arc welding is performed in wet conditions, or under conditions of high humidity, special protection against electric shock shall be supplied.
(iv) Pressure testing. In pressure testing of pipelines, the workers and the public shall be protected against injury by the blowing out of closures or other pressure restraining devices. Also, protection shall be provided against expulsion of loose dirt that may have become trapped in the pipe.
(v) Construction standards. The welded construction of transmission pipelines shall be conducted in accordance with the Standard for Welding Pipe Lines and Related Facilities, API Std. 1104 - 1968, which is incorporated by reference as specified in § 1910.6.
(vi) Flammable substance lines. The connection, by welding, of branches to pipelines carrying flammable substances shall be performed in accordance with Welding or Hot Tapping on Equipment Containing Flammables, API Std. PSD No. 2201 - 1963, which is incorporated by reference as specified in § 1910.6.
(vii) X-ray inspection. The use of X-rays and radioactive isotopes for the inspection of welded pipeline joints shall be carried out in conformance with the American National Standard Safety Standard for Non-Medical X-ray and Sealed Gamma-Ray Sources, ANSI Z54.1 - 1963, which is incorporated by reference as specified in § 1910.6.
(2) Mechanical piping systems -
(i) General. The requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section and §§ 1910.253 and 1910.254 of this part shall be observed.
(ii) X-ray inspection. The use of X-rays and radioactive isotopes for the inspection of welded piping joints shall be in conformance with the American National Standard Safety Standard for Non-Medical X-ray and Sealed Gamma-Ray Sources, ANSI Z54.1 - 1963.
Harmful fumes, gases, and sparks are produced when metals are welded together. To protect welder health, it's imperative that employers implement welding safety practices and fume extraction systems in working environments where welding processes are being performed.
LII/ 29 CFR 1910.252 - General Requirements
OSHA Regulations 1910 Subpart Q - General Requirements