A welding scene is a dangerous one. Sparks flying and the high temperatures are just some of the dangers a welder can face during their job.
As a result, proper welding safety equipment has the highest priority for any welder. So what can you do to minimize the dangers to yourself?
There are several steps you can take, and this article will provide a checklist for protective equipment essentials for all beginner welders. We’ll also provide some important tips to make your job at the welding site safer.
Essential Welding Safety Equipment
This article will list the protective materials you should have for welding. You must have almost all of them to ensure your security. Use this list as a checklist and make sure to get high-quality safety equipment for your job.
First, we’ll look at safety accessory you must have when welding.
We’ll start with equipment that will protect your head, face, and eyes. One of the essential pieces of defensive equipment you can have for industry welding is a strong welding helmet.
Your head and face are very susceptible to dangers such as radiation, sparks, debris and arc can quickly damage your skin. A proper welding helmet can protect your face from the dangers of radiation.
Some of the eye shields have an auto darkening feature. This prevents your eyes from being damaged by sudden bright flashes, which can occur during welding.
Also, when picking out a welding helmet, make sure it fits correctly. You don’t want it to be so loose that it moves around while wearing it.
Eyes are very sensitive, and you can easily damage your eyesight if you’re not careful enough. There are some important things you need to be aware of in your safety glass. Safety glasses have an important rating.
If you need safety glasses for industrial welding, you should buy glasses rated ANSI Z87.1 These glasses are specially made for industrial welding and offer the best protection.
Aside from making sure your safety glasses are strong and provide sufficient protection, there are also some other features to look out for. It is better to buy shaded safety glasses.
These offer protection against sparks and large flashes. Safety glasses with adjustable nose pieces and anti-fog coatings are also helpful as they allow for prolonged use.
This is an extremely important safety material for indoor welders. Indoor welding results in a large build-up of harmful gases. This can result in lung damage.
Masks won’t help you in this case as they do not offer enough protection. So they aren’t useful for prolong usage. As essential as respirators are, many beginners might be confused about them.
There are a few things you need to know about welding respirators. They have two types – a half-mask respirator and a full mask respirator. Half mask respirators can be used under your welding mask or helmet.
Full mask respirators double as face protection. Welding respirators have air filters. They filter the dangerous chemicals and make sure you’re breathing cleaner air.
When you’re buying or using a welding respirator, make sure it has a good working filter. It will help you a lot in the long run. Make sure they are all sturdy, and the filter lasts a long time.
Ear Muffs or Ear Protection Gear
If you’ve been to or worked in a welding site, you’ll know that the noise is unbearably loud at times. Continuously working in those conditions without proper ear protection can easily cause you to go deaf later on. So you’ll need proper ear muffs.
It is highly advised not to use any synthetic ear muffs and instead get proper heat resistant ear muffs. The sparks released can end up igniting the synthetic ear muffs, and you can have a scary accident. Heat resistant ear muffs will prevent this from happening. Full ear protection is necessary.
Personal Protective Clothing
Along with safety stuff, you need to have the proper clothing for welding. Your skin is very vulnerable, and you need to take the proper steps to ensure you’re safe when welding and cutting operation. So a strict set of clothing rules need to be maintained and followed:
The first piece of protective clothing you need is a full-sleeved welder’s jacket. These are flame-retardant jackets that are often made out of leather.
They won’t catch fire if a spark hits them and will protect you from radiation. Make sure the jacket is big enough and covers your skin properly.
No skin should be left exposed, or the radiation or high temperatures will end up hurting you. Also, keep in mind the ends of the jacket. Don’t buy a jacket will long end that ends up hanging.
They might get stuck when working, which can lead to other accidents. The jacket ends can also be a problem when crouching. It is recommended to buy a jacket without any pockets.
You’ll rarely need pockets in this kind of jacket, and they might end up being a hindrance instead. In case your jacket has pockets, you can seal them shut with tape.
Alongside your jacket, you’ll need your welding pants. Similar to the welding jacket, welding pants need to be flame-retardant and heat-resistant.
One important thing about welding pants is to make sure they don’t have any cuffs. Objects can get stuck in the cuffs, and this can be very hazardous. Choosing a suitable pant length is important. You do not want a pant that is too long that keeps touching the floor.
It can cause you to trip or have it get stuck. You also do not want your pants to be short enough that they leave your foot or ankle exposed. The length of your welding pants should be matched with your shoes to make sure no skin is exposed.
Your hands are also at risk during welding. Slag dripping down can cause very painful burns. So you’ll want to be wearing welding gloves when you’re working.
Make sure the welding gloves are sturdy. They also need to be insulated and heat resistant so that they protect your hands from burning. The welding gloves should cover your hands and wrist fully.
There’s no need to worry if there is any overlap between the sleeves of your welding jacket and the gloves. This will provide better protection. And you also need to make sure that the gloves fit properly.
Loose gloves can cause problems, and you want to make sure you can move your fingers properly in the gloves. This will allow you to better handle your tools. A good mix of safety and functionality is important when picking welding gloves.
Three types of gloves available on the market:
- Stick welding gloves.
- MIG welding gloves.
- TIG welder gloves.
Finally, you want to make sure you’re wearing proper work boots. Rubber-soled work boots are recommended since they provide insulation and can save you from getting electric shocked.
Your work boots should cover past your ankles. Some overlap between your welding pants and boots is fine. Leather and flame-retardant work boots are the best for welding.
You should also see if they are tipped with metal to protect your toes. Always try the shoes out and test to see if you slip in them or not. Never wear heavy weight slippery shoes.
To know more: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Welding Tips for Beginners
While the core safety precautions lie in your gear, there are also some other precautions and general safety tips you should keep in mind.
- Don’t work in a crowded area. You’re not always the only one working at a welding site, and you can end up getting in someone else’s way and cause an accident. Try to avoid crowded sites and always be mindful of your surroundings.
- Take breaks to avoid straining yourself. Fatigue can lead to making mistakes and accidents.
- Read the instruction manual for your equipment & weld requirement. Knowing the ins and outs of your working equipment is important.