- Wear eye protection. Solder can “spit”.
- Use rosin-free and lead-free solders wherever possible.
- Keep cleaning solvents in dispensing bottles.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after soldering.
- Lead can give rise to serious chronic health effects. Exposure will primarily be through accidental ingestion from your skin, wear gloves if directly handling solder. Limited fumes may be generated by soldering.
- Rosin (colophony, ersin) is a resin contained in solder flux. Flux generates the visible fumes seen during soldering. Exposure to rosin can cause eye, throat and lung irritation, nose bleeds and headaches. Repeated exposure can cause respiratory and skin sensitisation, causing and aggravating asthma. Rosin is a serious occupational health hazard.
- Soldering using rosin is only permitted in strictly controlled conditions after discussion with the Safety Office where there is no effective alternative. Fume extraction should be through an enclosed hood (preferred) or tip extraction. Ideally these should vent to the outside. Tip extract units that use filter boxes should include both activated carbon and HEPA filters.
- Bench top filter extract systems may be used for rosin-free soldering in well ventilated areas (i.e. large volume work space or with mechanical air changes. Placement of these is important to performance, if in doubt ask.
- All extract systems should be tested at least annually and maintained (i.e. change filters regularly). Keep a log of filter changes or mark date on filter/system.
- Do not solder if extract is not working properly and report immediately.
- Collect waste solder in a lidded container. Replace lid when not in use.
- Label appropriately and dispose of as hazardous waste (contact Safety Office).
- Used solder sponges and contaminated rags should be placed in a sealable bag for disposal as hazardous waste.
- Supervisors/line managers should inform users of the risks from soldering.
- Supervisors/line managers should ensure that controls are in place and working and that they are used correctly.
- All those soldering should be trained and supervised appropriately.
- Do not use soldering irons that have obvious damage to body, cable or plug.
- Keep the soldering station free of electrical cables to prevent damage from the heated tip.
- Use a grounded outlet and grounding prong if a short circuit is a possibility.
- Work on a fire-proof or fire resistant surface.
- Wear fire resistant clothing (e.g. 100% cotton) that covers your arms and legs to prevent accidental burns.
- Know where your nearest fire extinguisher is and how to use it (Makerspace Technician can arrange training).
- Immediately report any injuries to a Makerspace Technician and place any burns under cold water for 15 minutes.
- Report to a first aider if deep or extensive otherwise protect with band-aid.
To use the Soldering Equipment you must first complete the Soldering Equipment Orientation Quiz and the Code of Conduct and Safety quiz.
Take the Soldering Equipment 101 Quiz
You must also take a hands on class, meet with a Makerspace Technician for scheduling.
You need a score of 100% to pass and can take the quiz multiple times.