Underwater welders, such as Southern Divers, are significant players in the offshore energy industry. Their job is to repair, maintain, and construct underwater pipelines, canal locks, water vessels, and other structures underwater. Underwater welding services are in high demand, which translates to high wages. Consequently, underwater welding is among the riskiest maritime jobs, but you can minimize the risks by adhering to the safety tips below.
1. Ensure You Have Suitable Safety Equipment
It would be best if you never got into water without suitable diving equipment, which includes:
- Helmet: Get a helmet designed for welding purposes, which should have a welding screen to protect the eyes of the wearer and also make it compatible with a breathing gadget. Welders’ diving helmets come in three variants, and they all protect against shocks, sparks, and dangers found underwater.
- Suit: Obtain a diving suit that is well-insulated. The suit and gloves should be made of rubber or have rubber lining. Your gloves should tightly attach to your wrists to avoid penetration of external slag or water, which poses an electrocution risk. Remember to carry an extra pair of gloves as the rubber insulation can get damaged. If your active pair rips, you will use the backup.
- Electrodes: Ensure that all electrodes used for the welding job are entirely water-resistant. Do not use electrodes without water-resistant coating as they will result in shocks.
- Power Supply: Your power supply should be stable. It is important to use direct current (DC) instead of alternating current (AC) equipment when welding underwater. Direct current electricity moves in one continuous direction, making it more manageable, hence safe for underwater use.
- Stinger: Just like your suit, your stinger should also be well-insulated. Confirm the amount of protection your stinger provides; a 200-amp one would be suitable with the right stinger. Ensure that the stinger is easy to use and lightweight to avoid fumbling with it underwater.
- Diving Knife: Diving knives are not only used in action movies; they are versatile. You can use a knife to wedge the door, disentangle nets, or other objects that can hinder your movement underwater. When your movement is limited, you are at a higher risk of accidentally burning or shocking yourself. So, carry a diving knife to help ward off the risks.
2. Ensure Your Equipment is Working Properly
Taking all this equipment means nothing if it is not good working. Therefore, you must check your equipment and ascertain that it is working before diving into the water—double and triple check your equipment before you go beneath the waves or turn them on. Avoid using degraded or old underwater welding equipment as they may malfunction underwater and tragically hurt you and your crew.
3. The Significance of Ground
It is crucial to ensure a specified ground source is in place when working with electricity, especially when welding underwater. Keeping in mind that water is an electrical conductor, it is vital to ensure that your source of electricity is grounded to avoid electric shock when working underwater.
Lisa Eclesworth is a notable and influential lifestyle writer. She is a mom of two and a successful homemaker. She loves to cook and create beautiful projects with her family. She writes informative and fun articles that her readers love and enjoy. You can directly connect with her on email – [email protected] or visit her website www.lisaeclesworth.com