Rubber Floor Mats for Welding
3 ways Rubber Floor Mats for Welding Reduce Risks
Welding is a dangerous profession that carries with it major health and safety risks covering the full spectrum of severity – from minor burns right through to life-threating asphyxiation.
With such a high-risk profile, welders need to take every safety measure possible to make sure they’re protected. In this article, we’ll hone in on one of the more underrated pieces of safety equipment – the humble rubber floor mat – and explore three crucial roles it plays in reducing welding risks.
Rubber floor mats and electric shock
Perhaps the most well-known way rubber mats for welding reduce risks is with electric shocks. Before we look at how they reduce risk, it’s worth just quickly running through why welders are at risk of electric shock in the first place.
During welding procedures, live electrical circuits are used to melt metals and electric shocks can be suffered if a welder touches two metal objects that have a voltage difference between them.
Such incidents are classified into two categories – primary voltage shock and secondary voltage shock. While a primary shock occurs at a much higher range of 230-260 volts, compared to the more common secondary shock at around 20-100 volts, both are extremely serious events when you consider a shock of 50 volts can be enough to severely injure or even kill an operator.
The key to avoiding electric shock is proper insulation, which basically means preventing electricity from flowing (electric current). This is where rubber mats for welding obviously come into play. Rubber and other similar materials like vinyl are very poor conductors of electricity, which means they help prevent electric currents from entering and exiting the body of the welder.
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Rubber floor mats and fire
Welding generates sparks that can spray up to 10 metres, however the vast majority fall directly to the feet of the welder. With a constant stream of tiny metal fragments that are well over 1000oC gushing onto the floor, it’s very easy to appreciate the potential fire-related dangers of such work.
The most obvious precautionary step to take when dealing with any sort of heat source is to remove any flammable materials. Flammable liquids and chemicals can lead to catastrophic damage across an entire facility, however even grease stains on work clothing and other personal protective equipment (PPE) can pose a significant safety risk.
In addition to primary measures such as those, rubber mats for welding help reduce the risk of fires in a couple of ways. The fire-resistant nature of rubber not only provides safer space around the welders to prevent fires from starting, but it can also dramatically slow down the spread of a fire in the event one takes hold.
Rubber floor mats and fatigue
The welding process requires welders to stand in one position for long periods of time, which as we all know, inevitably leads to discomfort, tiredness, stiffness and sore feet, legs, knees or hips. Fatigue of this kind might not be a hazard itself, however the problem is that workers under physical duress are much more likely to make mistakes and poor decisions that injure themselves and others.
Preventing fatigue and associated risks is once again where rubber floor mats for welding are regularly called upon. Rubber and vinyl are ideal for anti-fatigue surfacing due to the natural elasticity of these materials that imparts far less strain on joints and muscles than hard surfaces like concrete.
Flexshield floor mats for welding
As experts in workplace safety, we recognise the life-threatening hazards that welders face when they turn up to work every day and make high-quality floor mats to ensure complete protection.
Our Flexweld welding mats are 6.5mm-thick with a high-visibility yellow ramped border and a corrugated surface for slip resistance. Made from cost-effective vinyl, they can be supplied as 900mm square mats, or cut to length from a 10m x 900mm roll.
Most importantly, these floor mats for welding have been proof tested at 20,000 volts and fully comply with AS/NZS 2978-1995.
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