Welders are exposed to a variety of potential hazards including electric shocks, inhaling toxic fumes and gases, skin burns, eye injuries and ear damage. Although this may sound terrifying, in reality, welding can be an entirely safe profession for the people who take the proper precautions. Investing a little more in the right welding safety equipment can make quite the difference regarding your welfare as well as comfort and performance. With that being said, here are some tips on how to stay fully protected on the job.
Heat and Radiation Protection
When working with a hot welding arc, you’ll be exposed to intense heat as well as radiation. For that reason, it’s important to cover every millimetre of your skin with welding safety equipment that can protect you against burns and ultraviolet rays. You can start by getting a complete body jumpsuit made of cotton or leather which is oil-free and fire-retardant. Make sure you are completely buttoned up so that no spark can fly inside your jumpsuit and catch fire. Another must-have is gloves that are flame-resistant but also comfortable enough for dexterity.
Melting metals will emit a variety of fumes which can be potentially damaging to your health. Respiratory diseases, metal fume fever, stomach ulcers, kidney damage, and even nervous system damage are just some of the effects of breathing in fumes over long periods of time. To keep the nasty stuff away from your system, make sure to wear a respirator with a particulate filter. Additionally, you may also want to check for a gas and vapour cartridge that can prevent absorption of carbon dioxide.
When welding, it’s incredibly important to protect your eyes against the piercing brightness and the flying sparks and spatter. Even a moment of exposure to the arc’s rays can result in serious eye pain that can appear hours after the exposure. With that being said, it’s advisable to get a helmet that has a filter shade that allows you to have a clear view while also protecting your eyes. As per PPE standards, the helmet should cover your entire head including the neck, so make sure to pick an appropriate size.
Muffle the Piercing Noise
But a helmet isn’t the only piece of headwear you’ll need. Since welding equipment can be extremely loud, it’s important to wear earplugs or muffs to protect your hearing. You can also wear a welder’s cap over your ear protection to ensure it stays properly in place. What’s more, a welder’s cap will function as an additional layer protecting your head against radiation.