I check out weekly news feeds for reports involving metal fabricating, forming, and welding. It's a great way to get a quick feel for the industry and find interesting leads and tidbits for stories.
In checking out these leads, I find a common story appearing almost on a daily basis: Welding mishaps are a burning problem in the U.S.
Welding is hard enough, but welding outdoors requires plenty of experience to make the right decisions and good welds. You have to contend with the outdoor environment and also be cognizant of the surroundings, a piece of advice that is consistent no matter where you weld.
You should ensure that your welding equipment is on a flat surface and away from water, which can conduct electricity. You also need to avoid flammable materials nearby, as a spark can turn into an uncontrollable fire before you know it.
If you are working near a field that hasn't seen water in a month or on the roof of an old building that is mostly made of wood, take extreme precautions. Not many companies can afford to have one person watching for fires while another welds, but in some instances, they may not have a choice.
The loss of a physical structure, capital equipment, or inventory because of a welding-related fire is one thing. Injuries to workers and possible loss of life are too great to ignore.