Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is imperative in an industry such as welding, which presents incessant danger from the welding process that includes heat, radiation and ricochet. Here at Arc Welding Services, we understand the importance of health and safety, so we thought it best to kick off our “Health & Safety” series of blogs with the basics of PPE.
Eyes and Face
The standard practice for PPE, in terms of protecting the eyes and face, includes a combination of equipment that should include a helmet, hand shield, goggles and safety glasses.
In terms of eye protection, the appropriate filters or lenses for the specific task at hand are required at all times: you can find out more about the right filters in this article. The most appropriate filter shade, along with the other aspects of welding PPE are determined by the ANSI Standard, Practice for Occupation and Educational Eye and Face Protection.
Helmets are required to guard the face, forehead, neck and ears. This protection is necessary to prevent injury from direct radiant energy and weld splatter. Helmets and filter plates are also designed to protect from arc rays, as well as weld sparks. These do not, however, defend the welder against slag chips, grinding fragments, wire-wheel bristle etc, which can ricochet under the helmet and cause an injury. The main prevention method for impact hazards is wearing appropriate protective glasses or goggles.
As is true with the face and eye protection in the welding process, the clothing that is most appropriate can differ, depending on the specific weld being carried out.
Sufficient coverage and materials to protect from spark, splatter and radiation burns are the main goal for safe clothing when welding. This means that the whole body should be covered, which will also prevent UV and infrared ray flash burns.
Dark clothing, made from wool, heavy cotton or leather is ideal because of their ability to prevent light-reflection under the helmet and into the eyes. The aforementioned materials are also tough, which reduces the risk of deterioration and melting. On this subject, it’s important that sleeves are not rolled, pockets of fabric are not present and trousers aren’t cuffed as these crevices are prone to cradling hot debris.
Flame-resistant gloves are also a must when welding, which may come in the form of leather welding gloves, and a gauntlet cuff is also advised. A gauntlet cuff will protect the welder’s arms, and the insulated lining will further prevent radiation burning.
The Danger of the Welding Process
Safety is paramount in any process, and this is no different for the welding process when we consider the heat and materials at play. Burns are the most common injury in arc welding, but there is danger presented by radiation and electric shock. No matter the dexterity of your PPE, you should not carry out any welding without having been properly trained and using sound equipment.
If you would like to hear more about the welding-related services we offer, which include welding equipment hire and welding equipment repairs, then please get in touch. You can call us on 0121 327 2249 or fill out our simple contact form.