HSfB Blog

5 Safety Wear Essentials for Welding

Whether you're an experienced welder and have never had a slip up in your life, or a novice DIYer using welding equipment for the very first time, wearing the correct safety equipment is crucial. From damage to your eyes from the brightness of the welding arc, to the high risk of burns from sparks, there are any number of injuries and accidents which can befall welders. There are the X piece of kit required to comprehensively protect you:

 

welding, safety wear

 

 

 

1. Fire-resistant clothing

With sparks flying, burns are the most common injury for welders. Completely covering your skin with fire-resistant clothing is the best protection against welding burns which can range from the very minor to the very severe.

 

Never wear synthetic flammable fabrics while welding as they are more flammable and can melt onto skin, instead opt for thick, natural materials (like wool or specially treated cotton) with a close weave and no fluff to minimise the risk. Long sleeves tucked into gloves are a must.

 

2. Helmets, glasses & goggles

Eyewear is crucial for welding safety. Welding arcs can burn incredibly hot, producing intense ultra violet (UV) radiation which can cause damage to the eyes including retinal burning and cataracts. Meanwhile, flying particles and sparks pose an additional risk, which is why it's important to have the correct combination of headwear while welding.

 

Oxy-fuel tinted goggles are not good enough protection against this UV. Instead ,welding helmets with the correct shading must be worn. Welders should look for a level of shading which renders the welding arc invisible, then choose one setting lighter to ensure the correct level of safety and visibility. Safety visors, goggles or glasses with protective sides should be worn beneath the helmet to protect against flying particles.

 

3. Gloves

Thick, flame-resistant gloves must be worn while welding to protect welders' hands from burns and cuts. Leather gloves are recommended by experts such as R-Tech Welding Equipment and, provided they are kept dry, they will also protect against electric shocks to some degree.

 

4. Shoes

Sturdy leather boots with good ankle coverage (a minimum of six inches is recommended) will keep your feet safe from harm while welding. If your work involves heavy lifting, steel toe caps are also a wise choice.

 

5. Ear Protection

If your welding equipment is so loud that it makes conversation difficult at a normal volume, it's an indication that the equipment you're using is producing a noise level which could be dangerous to your hearing. Even at lower volumes, protecting the ears from sparks is important. Over-the-ear, noise-cancelling ear protectors are recommended for heavier duty welding tasks.