Devices to protect welders
Electric shock is a potentially fatal risk that welders have faced and accepted each day. They have tried to protect themselves by using latex gloves, rubber mats, anti-moisture spray and other non-conductive barriers. Unfortunately these methods are less than adequate and time-consuming in the majority of situations.
A new product known as a voltage reduction device (VRD) offers welders effective and reliable protection from electric shock. An example is ShockStop, the VRD supplied by the Regina, Sask.-based company Sigma Industrial Sales. This unit is a microprocessor-based, solid state device that turns the power from the welding machine on and off automatically by sensing the actions of the welder. When the welder lifts the rod off the work, the power to the stinger is reduced to a safe level, allowing the welder to change the rod without fear of shock. To re-establish the arc, the welder only has to touch the rod back to the work as usual. Full power is restored immediately. The transition is seamless.
ShockStop was developed originally to protect welders in Saskatchewan’s potash industry, where conditions of high heat, high humidity and a very salty environment combine to make welding potentially a very high risk profession.
VRDs are not a substitute for proper work practices or current safeguards, but should be used in conjunction with these. For more information visit www.shockstop.ca, or contact Sigma Industrial Sales at 306-586-9278 or [email protected]