OSHA 1910.123(a) outlines the general requirements for personal protective gear “when necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants.” In addition to “protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities” that must be worn by the person or persons directly in contact with the hazard, the standard also states:
“…protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition…”
Additionally, OSHA 1910 Subpart Q covering the occupational safety and health requirements for “Welding, Cutting, and Brazing” states:
“If the object to be welded or cut cannot be moved and if all the fire hazards cannot be removed, then guards shall be used to confine the heat, sparks, and slag, and to protect the immovable fire hazards.”
Clearly, OSHA understands the importance of not only protecting people engaged in potentially hazardous activities, but also the importance of protecting the people and property in the immediate vicinity. Shields, guards and barriers are in integral and important part of OSHA’s regulations to ensure safety and prevent fire damage.
The light created by welding is of such high intensity, ultraviolet rays emitted in a just a few minutes of welding are equivalent to hours of direct sunlight. UV rays are harmful to the eyes and skin in the same way that prolonged sun exposure is, and they have a similar fading effect on fabrics and other materials.
Welding also creates a shower of molten metal (spatter) as well as small chips of metal and slag, cast off when cleaning the finished welds. This debris poses a potential for eye injury, as well as a serious fire hazard.
Cutting and grinding metals, often associated with welding operations, cast off debris that is both dangerous to the eyes and skin, as well as a potential source of ignition. Materials such as fiberglass that create a mechanical skin irritant when sanded or cut, are another operation that requires containment with shields or barriers.
The mixing of paints, lacquers, pharmaceutical products and other chemicals creates a potentially hazardous environment that requires containment. In this instance, barriers and enclosures can be used to contain splashing and spills, but also to isolate and contain vapors and create an environment that is safer and more beneficial to the desired chemical reactions.
To protect against these hazards, containment with the proper materials is critical to ensure safety and OSHA compliance. The combination of fire-resistance, chemical-resistance, translucence and installation versatility make flexible PVC an ideal choice for use in barriers, screens, curtains and enclosures.
Welding screens made from flexible PVC protect against the damaging effects of UV light by filtering out the most harmful wavelengths of light. They also provide a physical barrier that stop flying debris and sparks. The translucence of PVC weld screen material allows supervisors, foremen and instructors to supervise operations from a safe distance.
PVC weld screen material is most commonly used to create portable shields and barriers that can be placed wherever welding is taking place. Popular with contractors who work on-site, they are also commonly used in shipyards and job shops where the work moves around. Weld screen material is also used for fixed barriers such as hanging curtains and modular enclosures, often found in welding schools and manufacturing facilities.
The durability, chemical resistance and wide working temperature range of flexible PVC make it ideal for a wide variety of other applications and environments as well. Commonly used in laboratories and for pharmaceutical compounding, modular enclosures made up of flexible PVC panels or PVC strips offer containment and isolation, with the option of positive or negative air pressure and HEPA air filtration.
Flexible PVC enclosures, screens and curtains are often used around CNC machines and lathes to prevent oils, lubricants and cuttings from creating slip and fall hazards and help to prevent the spread of contaminants to finished products.
Flexible PVC can be used in corrosive environments, such as onboard ships or near the ocean, where saltwater and salt air can quickly degrade metal barriers. Flexible PVC offers a cost-effective and versatile option to provide the screens and barriers required by OSHA to keep people and property safe from harm.
FLEXIBLE PVC WELD SCREEN FROM TMI
TMI’s Flexible PVC Weld Screen material includes fire retardant additives, UV stabilizers and low temperature additives, making it ideal for use in all types of welding barriers. All Weld Screen materials are fully NFPA-701 compliant and several colors are available, each with unique light-filtering properties to match the customer’s needs:
The excellent chemical resistance, flexibility and clarity of our clear flexible PVC materials make them ideal for use in as curtains and enclosures, protecting against environmental and chemical hazards.
TMI stocks a large inventory of bulk extruded PVC, flexible PVC film and PVC coated polyester, available as rolls or strips, for manufacturers of personal protective equipment such as barriers, screens and enclosures. TMI offers a complete line of Portable Weld Screens, many of which are available in our Quick Ship program, on the shelf and ready for immediate delivery. TMI also designs and supplies complete curtains and enclosures, including all necessary installation hardware. TMI ships from four locations coast-to-coast, for the fastest delivery.