Welders face a lot of hazards on the job, such as noxious fumes, flying sparks, and hot metal. Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate these risks and one of them is by wearing the proper safety equipment.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential for hazardous jobs such as welding. If you are a welder, here are the most important safety items you should have:
1. Welding helmet
The most important safety equipment for a welder is the welding helmet, which serves to protect your face and neck from flying sparks, heat, intense light, and radiation. Without one, you may easily sustain an injury on your skin and eyes, like burning or “welder’s flash.”
Whether you are handling pipe cutting equipment or an arc welder, gloves are especially important for just about any industrial job. Choose a pair of welding gloves that are durable, functional, and comfortable all at the same time. They should give you enough movement while protecting your hands from abrasion, radiation, and intense heat, regardless of the type of welding application you need to do.
3. Safety glasses
Even if you have a full-face welding helmet on, it’s recommended that you still wear safety glasses underneath. Moreover, if you can’t wear a welding helmet, safety glasses or goggles will provide your eyes with enough protection against light and heat.
To protect your lungs against toxic fumes and oxides that emit from molten metals, wear a respirator under your welding helmet.
The type of jacket you need depends on the welding application you’re going to do. Light welding applications require a flame-resistant cotton jacket only, which can provide sufficient protection from heat and sparks without weighing down on you. As for medium to heavy welding applications, a durable, good-quality leather jacket is more appropriate.
Wear pants that have sufficient thickness and are made with flame-resistant fabric. You can also opt for pants that have built-in knee pads and belt loops that can accommodate a tool belt. But most importantly, make sure your pants don’t have cuffs, as sparks and hot debris may end up inside them.
Choose a pair of boots that are up to safety standards so you can ensure your feet are adequately protected against flying debris, heat, and fire. It’s also a good idea to get leather spats that are heat-resistant to provide extra protection against sparks and molten metal.
Moreover, always remember to keep your pant cuffs outside of your boots. In this way, harmful particles don’t go inside of your footwear while you’re working.
8. Welding apron
Buy a sturdy apron, preferably made flame-resistant leather, to give added protection for your torso and legs. An apron is especially important for heavy-duty welding applications that involve a lot of flying particles.
If you plan to do welding, you aren’t protecting yourself enough if you don’t have all of these safety materials. So, do yourself a favor and keep yourself safe from the hazards of welding by investing in the right PPE.