If you own a small fabrication or contracting business, you may be considering in-sourcing your welding needs in order to save money. Of course, it takes more than simply investing in welding machines to make this plan a reality. You also need to make sure you have the proper gear and tools to ensure that all welding is done safely. The following tips can help.

Tip #1: Provide safety equipment

If you have a dedicated welder on staff, they may provide their own safety equipment. Otherwise, it is up to you to ensure you have the basics available in the welding station. At a bare minimum, you will need to have an auto-darkening welding helmet, a fireproof leather welding apron, and leather welding gloves. It's also a good idea to have safety goggles on hand for jobs that don't require a full helmet. A respirator may also be necessary if your company welds any materials that produce harmful gases.

Tip #2: Enforce a dress code

Anyone that wants to use the welder must come in to work wearing the proper gear -- no exceptions. This means leather shoes, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Never allow anyone wearing shorts or a t-shirt to use the welder, since even a small wayward spark can result in a major burn. Flame-resistant clothing is preferable, even when one wears a welding apron or jacket. Avoid thin cotton clothing and opt for sturdier materials with a tight weave, like denim.

Tip #3: Outfit a dedicated space

Unless you take welding duties directly to a job site, it makes sense to set up a dedicated welding station. Install a hood ventilation system to ensure welding gasses are pumped out of the area and that plenty of clean air is available. The station should be situated well away from other work areas and nothing even remotely flammable should be kept nearby, since it only takes one spark to cause an explosion or start a fire.

Tip #4: Provide first aid nearby

Chances are that you are already required to keep first aid kits and a fire extinguisher on your work site. You should also install a burn kit near your welding station, since burns are the most common injury a welder will experience, and their severity can be greatly lessened by prompt treatment. Require reporting of all burns and injuries caused during welding so you can ensure there is proper follow-up on treatment.

Contact a welding supplier for more help.