A Day in the Life of a Structural Welder

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A structural welder may expect to work with metal, but also with people, as well. Not only must a welder know his own craft, but he must also be able to perform many other functions in order to get the job done. Each day that a structural welder enters a job site, he or she will be faced with a multitude of tasks that involve working overhead and off of access platforms, communicating effectively with crane operators and other material handlers, and knowing how to work safely.

Arriving on the Job Site

To start the day off, the structural welder will usually meet with his crew for a safety briefing. After the foreman completes the safety briefing, the day’s assignments are handed out. Along with his helper, the welder picks up his welding supplies at the tool depot along with the necessary safety equipment. After obtaining a hot work permit from the site manager, the welder gets to work seaming together I-beams and other structural materials.

Lifting and Overhead Access Equipment Certifications

Not only must a welder know how to weld properly, but also he or she may have to be certified in the operation of access equipment such as scissor lifts and “cherry pickers.” Knowing how to operate wheeled and tracked equipment will also be a needed skill on the job site. While most of these skills are usually taught and certified on the job, some additional education might be needed to obtain these certifications.

Communication with Other Crafts

On a well managed job site, a structural welder will need to effectively communicate with other craftsmen to get the job done safely. Maintaining proper communications with a welder’s crane operator or material handler is an absolute necessity in order to do the job right the first time in a safe manner. If the welder’s assignment is to weld together two large I beams vertically, then the crane operator must be confident in knowing that the welder can effectively communicate the adjustments necessary to correctly align the two I-beams so that the weld will be perfectly up to specifications.

Structural welding is not just about putting together two pieces of metal to form a building. A welder will always communicate effectively and work safely. Being a part of a team means that the work gets done and everyone goes home after the shift ends.

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