29 CFR 1926.353 - Ventilation and protection in welding, cutting, and heating.
(1) Mechanical ventilation shall consist of either general mechanical ventilation systems or local exhaust systems.
(2) General mechanical ventilation shall be of sufficient capacity and so arranged as to produce the number of air changes necessary to maintain welding fumes and smoke within safe limits, as defined in subpart D of this part.
(3) Local exhaust ventilation shall consist of freely movable hoods intended to be placed by the welder or burner as close as practicable to the work. This system shall be of sufficient capacity and so arranged as to remove fumes and smoke at the source and keep the concentration of them in the breathing zone within safe limits as defined in subpart D of this part.
(4) Contaminated air exhausted from a working space shall be discharged into the open air or otherwise clear of the source of intake air.
(5) All air replacing that withdrawn shall be clean and respirable.
(b)Welding, cutting, and heating in confined spaces.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and paragraph (c)(2) of this section, either general mechanical or local exhaust ventilation meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section shall be provided whenever welding, cutting, or heating is performed in a confined space.
(2) When sufficient ventilation cannot be obtained without blocking the means of access, employees in the confined space shall be protected by air line respirators in accordance with the requirements of subpart E of this part, and an employee on the outside of such a confined space shall be assigned to maintain communication with those working within it and to aid them in an emergency.
(3)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 pre-planned rescue procedure shall be stationed outside to observe the welder at all times and be capable of putting rescue operations into effect.
(c)Welding, cutting, or heating of metals of toxic significance.
(1) Welding, cutting, or heating in any enclosed spaces involving the metals specified in this subparagraph shall be performed with either general mechanical or local exhaust ventilation meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section:
(i) Zinc-bearing base or filler metals or metals coated with zinc-bearing materials;
(ii) Lead base metals;
(iii) Cadmium-bearing filler materials;
(iv) Chromium-bearing metals or metals coated with chromium-bearing materials.
(2) Welding, cutting, or heating in any enclosed spaces involving the metals specified in this subparagraph shall be performed with local exhaust ventilation in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, or employees shall be protected by air line respirators in accordance with the requirements of subpart E of this part:
(ii) Cadmium-bearing or cadmium-coated base metals;
(iii) Metals coated with mercury-bearing metals;
(iv) Beryllium-containing base or filler metals. Because of its high toxicity, work involving beryllium shall be done with both local exhaust ventilation and air line respirators.
(3) Employees performing such operations in the open air shall be protected by filter-type respirators in accordance with the requirements of subpart E of this part, except that employees performing such operations on beryllium-containing base or filler metals shall be protected by air line respirators in accordance with the requirements of subpart E of this part.
(d)Inert-gas metal-arc welding.
(1) Since the inert-gas metal-arc welding process involves the production of ultra-violet radiation of intensities of 5 to 30 times that produced during shielded metal-arc welding, the decomposition of chlorinated solvents by ultraviolet rays, and the liberation of toxic fumes and gases, employees shall not be permitted to engage in, or be exposed to the process until the following special precautions have been taken:
(i) The use of chlorinated solvents shall be kept at least 200 feet, unless shielded, from the exposed arc, and surfaces prepared with chlorinated solvents shall be thoroughly dry before welding is permitted on such surfaces.
(ii) Employees in the area not protected from the arc by screening shall be protected by filter lenses meeting the requirements of subpart E of this part. When two or more welders are exposed to each other's arc, filter lens goggles of a suitable type, meeting the requirements of subpart E of this part, shall be worn under welding helmets. Hand shields to protect the welder against flashes and radiant energy shall be used when either the helmet is lifted or the shield is removed.
(iii) Welders and other employees who are exposed to radiation shall be suitably protected so that the skin is covered completely to prevent burns and other damage by ultraviolet rays. Welding helmets and hand shields shall be free of leaks and openings, and free of highly reflective surfaces.
(iv) When inert-gas metal-arc welding is being performed on stainless steel, the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall be met to protect against dangerous concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.
(e)General welding, cutting, and heating.
(1) Welding, cutting, and heating, not involving conditions or materials described in paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section, may normally be done without mechanical ventilation or respiratory protective equipment, but where, because of unusual physical or atmospheric conditions, an unsafe accumulation of contaminants exists, suitable mechanical ventilation or respiratory protective equipment shall be provided.