Wetback Contracts takes the health and safety of its employees seriously. The recent purchase of welding curtains from Apex Strip Curtains & Doors is a solid demonstration of this commitment.
Wetback Contracts serviced Southern Africa’s petrochemical, chemical, mining, mineral processing and power generation industries since 1975. The company is recognised as a leading mechanical and piping contractor in South Africa, and has an extensive service portfolio including structural steel, plate work, the fabrication and installation of piping systems, shutdown and maintenance services, pressure vessels, fired heaters and other mechanical equipment.
With such a large basket of offerings, the company spends a large portion of its time welding components and structures to customised specifications for customers. The company is a member of the South African Institute of Welding and has developed an in-house welding system, that captures the details of each and every weld it has completed.
“Wetback Contracts stipulated that to protect both its welders and other employees from the hazards associated with welding, it required a welding curtain that would exceed standard safety levels. Apex Strip Curtains & Doors welding and safety screens are constructed from a specially formulated PVC material. This material incorporates a heavy-duty ultra violet light absorber that ensures that dangerous UV radiation is safely contained in the curtained off area,” Wim Dessing, managing director at Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, says.
All the supplied welding curtains have been installed on hanging hardware in Wetback Contracts’ new manufacturing facility in Isando, Gauteng.
“These welding curtains, supplied in yellow PVC, are used to cordon off the more than 20 welding bays the company operates,” Dessing explains. Dessing points out that Apex Strip Curtains & Doors’ reputation is staked on recordable results.
“We submitted the welding curtains to extensive testing at the SABS. We firstly measured the level of ultra-violet transmittance. Conventional materials provided readings of 0,0005%, 0,008% and 5.0%, while the Apex product readings were 0,005%, 0,001 and 0,005%. The SABS also measured the total visible light transmitted through the material. The conventional material allowed 78% transmittance, while the Apex material allowed only 15,5%
In addition to these superior characteristics, the material used in the manufacture of the Apex welding curtains is impervious to burning, even when it comes into contact with welding splatter. “Safety remains the underlying objective of the design of the welding curtains, and extensive research and testing has resulted in a superior material that offers employees maximised defence against both light transmittance and welding splatter,” Dessing says.
“There is no doubt that the inclusion of the Apex welding curtains at Wetback Contracts’ new facilities will result in higher levels of productivity, due to the provision of a safer and more comfortable working environment,” Dessing concludes.