welder at work in his industrial metal shop

PPE for Welders

Welders deal with tools rising above 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is no wonder that welders who fail to use proper PPE for welders find themselves suffering from third-degree burns, eye damage, and days in the hospital. For 4 in 1,000 welders, it means death. PPE for welders is not optional.

Welding PPE

Every time a welder merges two pieces of metal, they are exposing themselves to high heat, noxious fumes, and possible crush injuries. Luckily for every possible injury, there is PPE for welders that can help mitigate the risks.

Eye and Face Protection

Welders are at an ncreased risk for eye injury. They risk a spark, stay metal, and bright light damaging their eyes, even causing temporary to permanent blindness. Welder’s flash is a common condition experienced by welders. Exposure to the ultraviolet light thrown off by the welding process can cause temporary blindness and discomfort.

Welders’ helmets are must-have welding PPE. Not only can these prevent stray material from landing on the welder’s face, but, if the lens is shaded, can mitigate the risk of welder’s flash.

There are two types of welding helmets, passive lenses, and ADF lenses. Passive lenses have a fixed shade As the shade is dark, oftentimes the welder will need to remove their mask as they complete pre-welding activities. As such, the welder must remember to put it back down before they begin the actual welding. The second type of helmet, ADF lenses, lighten and darken in response to the intensity of the light. As such, the welder can keep the helmet on as they complete pre-welding tasks.

Ear Protection

Prolonged exposure to loud noises leads to hearing loss. Welders routinely deal with noise levels over 100 decibels. 85 decibels is considered to be loud. After a few years of welding, the welder that does not use PPE for welders will find their hearing in decline.

On top of hearing loss, welders risk drop weld ear injuries. If hot metal falls into the ear canal, it can burn both the canal and a hole through the ear drum. Sometimes the metal hardens in the middle ear. If this happens surgery might be required to remove the hardened metal.

Ear plugs are earmuffs are PPE for welders that can help prevent these kinds of injuries. If worn correctly, ear plugs can reduce noises by up to 30 decibels. They also block debris’s path. If the metal can not get into the welder’s ear it can not burn them or harden their middle ear.

For noise reduction, companies can implement noise control systems. These systems are designed to keep those outside of the welding area safe from noise-related injuries. You have a variety of noise control options, ranging from DIY noise control materials to fiberglass panels and ceiling baffles.

Safety Screens

Welding safety is not just about the welder. It is the welder’s responsibility to keep those around them safe as well.  Welding safety screens are PPE for welding that can help keep others safe. Welding safety screens enclose the welder and their tools, cutting them off from others. These are especially important in areas without a separate welding room.

Equipment for Welding

Welders work with a lot of tools. Although welding can be a fun and fascinating process, using these tools correctly is a responsibility the welder should not take lightly for the safety of themselves and the people around them. All types of welding require a welding machine and some type of electrode. The specifics of the equipment for welding needed for each type vary.  Below are some examples of equipment for different types of welding and how to use them safely and correctly.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

This is often referred to as stick welding. As the name suggests, this type of welding requires a stick-like apparatus called a welding rod. A strong electric current flows through the rod, called an electrode,  and into the piece of metal, the substrate. The welding rod itself melts to join the substrate.

Gas Metal Arc Welding

This type of welding is often called MIG welding. Like shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding also requires a consumable electrode. Instead of a rod, this consumable electrode is a wire fed through a welding gun. This type of welding requires an inert gas as the welding rod lacks a flux core.

Flux Cored Arc Welding

Much like gas metal arc welding, flux-cored arc welding uses a consumable electrode in the form of a wire fed through a welding gun. Unlike gas metal arc welding, flux-cored arc welding utilizes a flux core and does not require inert gas.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

This type of welding is often referred to as TIG welding and Heliarc welding. For this type of welding, the welder uses an outside metal rod to meld the metal. This type of welding requires an inert gas like argon. It produces a very clean weld but requires a high amount of skill to accomplish.

Welders Protective Clothing

PPE for welders does not just include eye, ear, and respiratory protection. PPE for welders also includes the clothes the welder wears.

Welders’ protective clothing includes items like gloves, jackets, pants, and boots. Each piece of clothing needs to be specially designed for welding. This means they are thick, heat resistant, and covering.

Gloves need to be fire resistant, heat resistant and cover hands and wrists and fit over or under the cuff of your jacket. There should be no gap. Even the smallest gap leaves you open to burns.

Just like your gloves, your jacket needs to be heat and fire-resistant, and cover your wrists, torso, and upper body. Be sure it is fitted properly. It should not expose skin if you bend over, but it should also not get in the way.

Pants should not be cuffed. Cuffed pants provide a place for debris to catch. Your pants should overlap with your shoes just as your jacket overlaps with your gloves. Again, you do not want any skin exposed.

As you are working with electricity, you need to make sure your shoes are grounded. This means they need rubber soles. Rubber is an insulator. Electrical current can not run through insulators. It is a good idea for them to be nonslip as well.

Prevent injury. Wearing welder’s protective clothing is a simple way to keep yourself safe.

Singer Safety

Do you need PPE for welders? Singer Safety offers a variety of safety equipment geared towards welders. From noise control systems to protect your ears to fire safety equipment,  singer safety has what you need to keep your welders and everyone around them safe.

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