Many people are injured each year by the incorrect or careless use of oxy/fuel gas equipment.
Welding and cutting in difficult to reach places on site and at height is particularly dangerous and includes potential hazards such as:
- Fire caused by heat, sparks, molten metal or direct contact with the flame
- Explosions when cutting or repairing tanks or drums that may have contained flammable materials
- Fire or explosion caused by gas leaks and flashbacks from the welding or cutting gases being used
- Fumes created during welding or cutting
- Fires resulting from leaks or misuse of oxygen
- Burns from contact with the flame or hot metal
- Impact injuries from handling and transporting cylinders
Afrox has incorporated a Safety Solutions Programme (SSP) into its 360-degree solutions offering.
The company’s compressed gases that use mixtures of argon, helium, carbon dioxide and oxygen are used for welding processes such as gas metal arc, gas tungsten arc and flux cored arc welding. In addition, its fuel gases, oxygen, acetylene and compressed natural gas, are used for gas welding, cutting, heating, straightening and descaling. Modern plasma and laser cutting machines also use a range of gases to achieve the cut speeds and qualities required.
The company’s 360-degree solutions initiative attempts to take a holistic view of customers’ operations, including on-site conditions and hazards, equipment choices, conformance and condition, as well as employee skills and knowledge. Its integrated customer application solutions programme strives to overcome the challenges facing South African energy, transport, mining and fabrication industries.
The company believes that safety should extend beyond training and its SSP aims to ensure that customers follow the safest and most efficient operating procedures for their equipment. Customers are supported with site and equipment surveys, followed by a report to address safety and fabrication efficiency concerns.
Skills audits and the identification of training requirements are part of the survey process and the company can provide training on site or at one of its training schools, accredited by the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority.
The key objective of the programme is to promote the safe use of welding and cutting gases and related equipment. The programme aims to ensure that the required equipment is fit for purpose and that it conforms to industry norms and standards. An additional goal is to ensure that operators understand how to use gas welding and cutting equipment safely and that the surrounding environment is kept safe for all employees.
The programme is being implemented across the petrochemical, power generation, shipbuilding, general fabrication and manufacturing sectors.