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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


General Safety Regulations, 1986

9. Welding, flame cutting, soldering and similar operations


No employer or user of machinery shall require or permit welding or flame cutting operations to be undertaken, unless -

a) the person operating the equipment has been fully instructed in the safe operation and use of such equipment and in the hazards which may arise from its use;
b) effective protection is provided and used for the eyes and respiratory system and, where necessary, for the face, hands, feet, legs, body and clothing of persons performing such operations, as well as against heat, incandescent or flying particles or dangerous radiation;
c) leads and electrode holders are effectively insulated; and
d) the workplace is effectively partitioned off where practicable and where not practicable all other persons exposed to the hazards contemplated in paragraph (b) are warned and provided with suitable protective equipment.


2) No employer or user of machinery shall require or permit welding or name cutting operations to be undertaken in a confined space, unless --
a) effective ventilation is provided and maintained; or
b) masks or hoods maintaining a supply of safe air for breathing are provided and used by the persons performing such operations.


3) No employer or user of machinery shall require or permit electric welding to be undertaken in wet or damp places, inside metal vessels or in contact with large masses of metal, unless --
a) the insulation of the electrical leads is in a sound condition;
b) the electrode holder is completely insulated to prevent accidental contact with current-carrying parts;
c) the welder is completely insulated by means of boots, gloves or rubber mats; and
d) at least one other person who has been properly instructed to assist the welder in case of an emergency is and remains in attendance during operations: Provided that the provisions of this sub-regulation shall not apply to a welding process where the maximum voltage to earth does not exceed 50 volts.


4) No employer or user of machinery shall require or permit welding, flame cutting, grinding, soldering or similar work to be undertaken in respect of any tube, tank, drum, vessel or similar object or container where such object or container -
a) is completely closed, unless a rise in internal pressure cannot render it dangerous; or
b) contains any substance which, under the action of heat, may --
i) ignite or explode; or
ii) react to form dangerous or poisonous substances,

unless a person who is competent to pronounce on the safety thereof has, after examination, certified in writing that any such danger has been removed by opening, ventilating or purging with water or steam, or by any other effective means.


5) Where hot work involving welding, cutting, brazing or soldering operations is carried out at places, other than workplaces which have been specifically designated and equipped for such work, the employer shall take steps to ensure that proper and adequate fire precautions are taken.