Reducing The Risks Associated With Underwater Welding

Construction & Contractors Blog

Much of the crude oil used by our nation is being mined from beneath the ocean floor. In order to access these undersea oil reserves, rigs must be built over the water. Underwater welding plays a critical role in the construction of these open-water oil rigs.

Working under the water can be dangerous, but here are some simple things you can to do minimize the risks associated with welding underwater.

1. Insulate your equipment.

Underwater welders rely on equipment powered by electrical currents in order to do their jobs. When your equipment comes into contact with highly-conductive seawater, the risk of electrical shock is a threat. To ensure that you aren't being shocked while working underwater, it's essential that you take the time to properly insulate your equipment.

Checking for cracks or other forms of damage that can compromise the integrity of your equipment's insulation prior to going underwater will help you prevent water from coming into contact with your welding gear and producing a potentially deadly electrical shock.

2. Take the time to decompress.

Underwater welders are required to be proficient divers in order to carry out essential welding tasks along the ocean floor. If your current welding job requires you to dive to great depths on a regular basis, it's essential that you take the time to properly decompress after each shift.

Decompression sickness can result in a range of symptoms, from feelings of mild dizziness to immediate death. Ascending from the ocean floor after each shift slowly, and making decompression stops as necessary, will help prevent decompression sickness from affecting your ability to dive in the future.

3. Monitor the production of gas pockets.

Working with welding materials that rely on hydrogen and oxygen to complete a welding cycle requires constant vigilance when underwater. When these gases are allowed to interact with one another, dangerous gas pockets are produced. 

The formation of gas pockets can be deadly, because these gases can easily be ignited by an errant spark occurring during the welding process. Be sure to dive with equipment that will scan for gas pockets to avoid a potentially deadly explosion while welding underwater.

Understanding some of the risks associated with underwater welding will allow you to take the necessary steps to mitigate these risks. Insulating your welding equipment, taking the time to decompress after each shift, and monitoring the production of gas pockets are simple ways to make underwater welding safer.

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30 August 2016

All About Building a Home

Welcome to my website. I'm Albert Frost. Besides my dad, one of my biggest role models was my uncle Rick. He was a construction contractor who would let me come on his construction sites and also taught me everything he knew about building homes, including how to install hardwood flooring and add insulation. I always wanted to grow up to build houses like my uncle. I used to help my uncle with a lot of the grunt work needed to make a home a reality. But then I hurt my back playing football. Until I heal completely, I'm going to devote as much of my time as possible to teaching others about various construction topics I'm interested in.