Free online course to spark workplace safety refresh for welders and hobbyists

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Weld Australia is putting a (blow) torch to welder safety by providing a free safety course for industry workers. 

The nation’s peak welding industry body aims to fuse up any health and safety gaps found across Aussie job sites by launching the optional online training refresher. 

The safety awareness courses will comprise two series, one specifically for welders and the other for welding engineers and industry supervisors. They will also be available for welding hobbyists to access.  

It will focus on boosting worker safety by reminding workers of essential health and safety steps, vital PPE protocols, and injury prevention and treatment advice. 

Weld Australia CEO Geoff Crittenden says the safety hazards of welding coupled with high-risk working environments made welding a potentially dangerous process. 

These risks are compounded by the fact that welding is undertaken across a wide range of locations and situations, from workshops and fieldwork through to confined spaces, underground mine sites, and more,” he said. 

“Hazards in these situations will be different and require different controls to keep welders and others nearby safe. It is critical to manage these risks and hazards so that people working in the welding industry are kept safe and return home at the end of each day without injury.”

 Common welding health and safety risks:

  • Airborn contaminants
  • Radiation
  • Electrical hazards
  • Fire and explosions
  • Burns and heat exposure
  • Compressed gases 
  • Noise
  • Lead poisoning 
  • Confined spaces
  • Falls 

The courses cover hazards that may be encountered during the welding process and how they can best be managed throughout the workplace.  

It focuses heavily on the hierarchy of safety controls alongside the correct and proper use of personal protective equipment, which can save welders from severe injury. 

The online program comes after Weld Australia overhauled its manufacturing and engineering (MEM) training program last year to re-spark interest from the next generation of budding tradies. 

Australia’s welding sector is undergoing a labour shortage crisis, with half the nation’s workshops operating below 80 per cent capacity.

Declining worker numbers fused with high apprenticeship drop-out rates have predicted the trade to be 70,000 welders short by 2030.

By relocating more learning online, industry leaders aim to better engage students and allow them to learn at a time, place, and pace that suits them through methods and technology they use frequently.

So far, the transition to more forward-thinking education resources has proved a great success, taking home one of the top gongs at Australia’s premier manufacturing awards.

Mr Crittenden highlighted the importance such digital programs can have on industry culture,  enabling welding bosses to ensure new staff have solid safety foundations while providing a way to re-spark awareness among incumbent employees. 

“Regular refreshers help maintain safety awareness, reducing the risk of accidents, leading to lower workers’ compensation claims and insurance costs,” he said. 

“For welders, undertaking these courses gives you essential knowledge on protecting yourself from hazards like burns and harmful fumes. Learning about PPE and emergency procedures can be life-saving.” 

“By educating yourself, you can contribute to a safety culture within the welding community. Sharing knowledge with peers and practising safe welding can influence others to prioritise safety, reducing welding-related accidents.”

The courses will launch next month via Weld Australia’s website.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.