Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday lesson learned...

You know how you get a little complacent about the details, particularly safety items, when you perform a certain activity or process with great frequency?  Well, I had fate jump up an bite me a bit this week.

A number of years ago I got out of the habit of using gloves when tig welding on thin steel, partly because it's low amperage, low heat and I like the increased dexterity...mostly because it's easier not to pull them on.  I know, it's really just pure laziness.  I've never really had an issue until just the other day when the heat and humidity conspired to reaffirm a few points I'd become rusty on...

#1... when it's hot out, your skin expresses water through it's pores (even your hands)
#2... water is a better conductor of electricity than steel
#3... electricity follows the path of least resistance
#4... it hurts, like real bad, to have electricity run through you instead of the work piece.

So, points made, here's what happened.  I was welding up a fixture piece for Chad's build, sweating my arse off, when I hit the pedal to start a new bead...Wizzzap!  The arc, instead of establishing on the work piece, jumped across the handle and into my moist, un-clad hand that was holding the tig torch.  You can see the entry point below in the form of the dead, lumpy nodule...
and the path the electricity took through my hand to ground, indicated by the dark streak of bruising...
Lesson reaffirmed - wear gloves dumb ass.

rody

2 comments:

Hub said...

Rookie

IF52 said...

in the voice of Cleveland Brown, that's nasty.