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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

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    How to safely operate a soldering iron

    How to safely operate a soldering iron

    Most commonly used in applications related to electronics, soldering irons are indispensable tools for hobbyists and professionals alike. Used to create a strong, conductive bond between two pieces of metal, typically involving wiring or circuit boards, they are used in conjunction with solder, a material consisting of a tin/lead mixture, usually available in coils. The heat necessary to melt the solder and effectively bind metal pieces together is substantial and may easily cause accidental injuries.

    Preventing accidents at work

    To prevent injures by soldering iron, it is necessary to follow a few simple safety instructions

    • Prepare a workspace by laying down a piece of cardboard or a mat to catch drips of solder
    • Ensure soldering iron is sound and in good working condition
    • Warm soldering iron

    If the instrument is electric, it should be plugged in and allowed to reach its optimal working temperature on its stand. Butane gas irons should be filled by holding them firmly, refill nozzle pointing upwards, and pressing down with the butane bottle. Gas overflowing from the nozzle indicates that the tank is full.

    Avoiding soldering iron accidents

    Once the iron is warm, proceed by:

    • Securing items to be soldered with the help of a frame or vice
    • Cleaning the tip of the tool by wiping it repeatedly over a wet sponge
    • Tinning the soldering tip by touching a little solder to the tip of the iron

    You are now ready to commence soldering. To achieve optimal bonding and prevent personal injuries:

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    • Hold the iron like a pen in one hand
    • Hold a reasonably long strip of solder in the other hand
    • Position the tip of the tool so it touches both parts to be soldered (necessary to achieve equal temperatures on both parts)
    • Hold this position for approximately two or three seconds before touching the solder to the side of the joint opposite the tip
    • Allow solder to cover the connection
    • Remove solder, then iron tip from the connection


    • Never touch the tip of the iron while hot
    • Never shake drips of solder off the iron (prevents injuries by solder splashing onto skin or into eyes)
    • Never place soldering iron onto surfaces other than its stand
    • Always solder in well ventilated areas
    • Always wear gloves or wash hands after use to prevent injuries by lead present within the solder

    Work injury compensation

    If you suffered an injury at work due to a defective soldering iron or due to incorrect handling of such a tool by another person, call Accident Advice Helpline to find out if you qualify for industrial injury compensation.

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.