The New Normal: 8 Ways the Coronavirus Crisis Changed Welding Workplaces.

the new normal? welding helmet COVID-19 styleRevised from NSPE, Edited by Dr. Jesse A. Grantham, PE, Principal - Forensic Expert

U.S. jobsites are reopening but the industry will not be the same as it was before the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the span of two months, the coronavirus crisis has demanded sweeping changes from the U.S. construction industry, and experts say many of them will remain in place even after the outbreak recedes.

As contractors prepare to return to work on sites that have been shut down by shelter-in-place initiatives, they will face an industry that drastically changed by the both public health and economic effects of the pandemic.

There are new factors coming into play now that you or I never thought about. People need to plan now to be prepared for the long term.

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Managing a Coronavirus-Related Project Shutdown

Proper shutdown ensures a smooth re-startRevised from NSPE, Edited by Dr. Jesse A. Grantham, PE, Principal - Forensic Expert

When a hurricane or other disaster forces the closing of a jobsite, owners and contractors can be reasonably assured that, barring severe physical property damage, everyone will be back to work in a short while.

However, the Coronavirus pandemic has led contractors, material suppliers and industry vendors into uncharted waters. Construction companies, for example, in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville Massachusetts and to some degree, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Austin TX and Travis County, TX, either are unsure about which projects must be closed or are looking at the duration of a moratorium. Consider that: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday morning announced that construction is "nonessential" work, effectively shutting down most projects statewide.

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Educating Welders about Quality Welds

Welders are under enormous pressure to produce quality, lasting welds.During my life, I welded, supervised welders, engineered welds and inspected welds in many industries. Some welds were acceptable and some welds were rejected. It is important to note these terms, “accept and reject”. Every person (company and personal) involved in the welding operation needs to perform their assigned duties (design, materials, processes, and compliance). When there is a weakness in any one of these functions, the “welder” gets blamed for a bad weld.“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. This is also true for welds.

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Successful Welding: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Welder Wearing Personal Protective EquipmentWelders create their own problems by exhibiting lack of confidence and not wearing their Personal Protective Equipment  (PPE).  “Certification welds” should be better than “production welds” because the weld coupons are new, clean and the weld surfaces are smooth. The weld test booth is clean, lighted and a safe workplace.  Welders tend to overlook the fact that their success in providing a satisfactory demonstration of their welding performance is important to all parties.

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Welding Hazards – Gases & Fumes

Welding fumes can cause a multitude of health issues. Ventilation is key!Welding joins pieces of metal by the use of heat, pressure or both. Welding is among the most dangerous industrial activities. It requires an enormous degree of precautionary planning because of the risk of personal injury. Gases and fumes can be significantly reduced with process controls and shielding gases.

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