We asked Dino Delcano, AWS Sales Manager for South Australia & the Northern Territory, to tell us how he has seen the welding industry change during his involvement over the last 40 years.
Where I First Began In The Welding Industry
I started my apprenticeship as a Boilermaker with BHP in 1978 and I have been involved in the welding safety industry ever since. During my 11 years working as a welder with BHP in Whyalla I never really considered the dangers of welding fume or the need for respiratory safety equipment. To be honest, we just got on with the job.
A Change In The Importance Placed On Welding Safety
Fast forward almost 40 years and the industry has changed significantly. I now find myself providing highly beneficial safety information in an attempt to create safety awareness and encourage welders to reduce their exposure to welding fume. It’s no longer considered normal and I find welders and companies who employ welders are now far more aware of the dangers and available safety equipment. As an ex-welder it also feels good to tell the next generation of welders what I wish had been told to me all those years ago. Seeing a young welder’s face when they try a Speedglas Welding Helmet or Adflo PAPR for the first time is priceless.
Which Direction Is The Industry Heading?
The welding industry in South Australia and the Northern territory continues to bubble along and move in the right direction. I think a lot of local companies are starting to understand that things fabricated off-shore may appear to be cheaper but they aren’t lasting or require heavy modification when they arrive in Australia. In the long run it’s more expensive. Those companies seeking quality fabrication are giving work back to Aussie welders.
Obviously up in the Northern Territory the welding industry is fuelled by construction supporting LNG infrastructure as well as a number of mines between Alice Springs and Darwin. Mining is starting to gradually pick-up in South Australia with another underground mine opening up which is positive for the industry. Mining drives the industry in SA, mainly coal, iron ore and copper.
The Speedglas Experience
Having had first-hand experience with the Speedglas Welding Helmet Range over the past 25 years I have full confidence in the Speedglas products and have no hesitation in recommending the welding helmets and PAPR units to welders, ensuring they are not only using a quality product but importantly protecting themselves from welding hazards. I enjoy passing on my knowledge and experience gained throughout my career to assist others.