As we discussed in our last blog, welding is a fantastic career option. It pays well and allows you to work with your hands solving problems daily while creating functional but beautiful structures.
It doesn’t come without challenges. Welding can be dangerous, exposing workers to high-risk situations. In addition to physical exertion and long hours, some of the dangers of welding include:
- Burns from molten metal and flying sparks
- Flying debris (snag)
- Toxic fumes
- Ultraviolet and infrared light
You must maintain a deep commitment to personal and team safety in your shop.
Choose the Proper Protective (Welding) Equipment
Gloves – Your hands are the most vulnerable as they work closely with hot metals and tools. It’s essential to invest in high-quality gloves, which are
- Heat/fire resistant
- Have dexterity
- Fit under jacket sleeves
- Cover hands and wrists entirely
Headgear – Protecting your face and eyes is essential! Wear goggles, ear protection, and a properly fitting helmet to keep them safe from hot slag, sparks, burns, radiation, and arc flash. Some helmets offer shields with an auto-darkening feature. While more expensive, they save you from constantly having to lift and lower your helmet shield. Some welders also wear bandanas to keep sweat from dripping into their eyes. Finally, ensure your face and headgear fit snuggly.
Body Protection — Cover up completely with fire retardant jackets and pants. Jackets need to fit your torso and arm length. Pants should cover your shoes — an overlap of 2” is recommended — and be cuffless. Keep everything buttoned and closed up. Snag and sparks can land in cuffs and open pockets and then start to smolder, causing a burn before you realize it’s even happening. Wear leather sleeves and aprons underneath your jacket for extra protection.
Proper Footwear – Welders work with an open flame and live currents. The proper boots can protect you from electric shock, sharp objects, burns, slips, or falls. Ensure your boots are:
- High top (6” to 8”)
Respirators – Fumes and gases are inevitable. They wreak havoc on your lungs and can cause permanent damage. Wear a respirator underneath your helmet to filter the air before it hits your lungs. Use an exhaust hood to pull smoke and fumes away from you.
Safety is always a top priority for us at Gillmann Services. We know the same goes for you, and we’re committed to placing you with companies that prioritize safety procedures. Contact us today for more information.