Insurance Costs Fuel Interest in Reducing Welding Risks

A combination of higher insurance costs and increased maintenance- and construction-safety awareness have given rise to a greater interest in the hazards of welding and other hot work and in products for minimizing those hazards.

"Commercial insurance rates have risen dramatically across the board this year, regardless of risks," said Kathie M. Leonard, president and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing Inc. (AMI), which manufactures high-performance textiles for extreme temperature industrial applications. "As a result, insurance companies, enterprises engaged in any work that is capable of initiating fires or explosions, and firms such as AMI are joining forces to find ways to minimize the risks associated with hot work-one of the top five causes of fires, ranked both by number of losses and dollars lost."

AMI, a member of the National Fire Protection Association's Technical Committee on Hot Work Operation, is working to provide certification of standardized welding fabrics for optimal hot work protection. Once that certification is established, AMI hopes to be the first manufacturer to offer such standardized products into the market.

At last month's American Society of Safety Engineers conference and exposition in Nashville, AMI gave a presentation titled, "When Safe Performance is a Burning Issue." The company gave basic information on the topic, showed illustrations of fires caused by welding accidents, and offered attendees a guide to selecting welding-protection products for a variety of applications.

For more information, contact Leonard at (800) 264-6689.

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