Safety for Welders

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  • 8/4/2019 Safety for Welders



    SAFETY FIRSTSafety should be the first consideration when beginning any Trade. Welding is anIndustrial trade and as such has many hazards that can cause injury if the proper safetyguidelines are not followed.

    In addition to the safety guidelines for welding training there are many safety rules that

    apply to the welding field in general and to the particular company you will work for.

    Students and employees should continue to take an active interest in safety throughout

    their careers.

    CLOTHING FOR WELDINGSince welding produces intense heat and hot sparks that may cause serious burns, it is

    important to wear the proper work clothes. The following describes the type of clothing

    appropriate for welding operations.

    WORKSHIRTSShirts should be made of thick heavy materials such as heavy cotton or denim that is

    not easily burned.

    The shirts must be long sleeved and should not have pockets unless they have button

    flaps on them. Open pockets may trap hot sparks or globules of hot metal that could

    burn the skin.

    The shirt should not have frayed edges that sparks from welding can easily ignite. The work shirt should not have any torn areas that allow hot sparks to penetrate. Matches, lighters, or paper materials should never be carried in shirt or pants pockets

    when welding.

    WORKPANTSThe pants should be close fitting and made of a heavy material such as work jeans.

    Overalls are appropriate if other clothing is worn under them.

    The pants should be long enough to cover the top of the boots and have no cuffs that

    may trap sparks or hot slag.

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    Like the shirts the pants should have no frayed edges or torn areas in them.

    It is advisable not to have metal keys or other devices dangling from the pants thatcould arc against the work surface.

    BOOTSHigh top leather boots are required for welding and general shop use. Canvas boots or

    dress shoes should not be worn.

    The boots should fasten all the way up to prevent sparks falling into them. Leather laces

    that will not easily burn or smolder should be used.

    Wear heavy work socks not nylon or thinner socks for added protection against sparks.

    Safety boots with steel toe caps are advisable for welding shops and work to protect the

    feet.Spats or leggings are leather pieces that fit over the top of the boot to prevent sparks

    falling into the boots and are available at welding supply stores.

    CAPSA cap or some form of head covering should be used for welding, especially in other

    than the flat position. The cap must be compatible with the welding head gear called the

    welding helmet. Welders caps or welders beanies (cap with no peaks) are available

    from welding supply stores.

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    Students or welders at the School need to have the proper welding protection equipment

    in addition to wearing the proper welding work clothes.

    The protection equipment is used to safely view the arc and make the practice welds at

    the school. It is the same type of personal equipment all welders use on the job.

    The Welding Uniform is the individuals choice of manufacturers and styles, for the

    following items:





    1.THEWELDINGHELMETThe welding helmet is designed to protect the welders face and head from the ultraviolet

    and infrared rays of the welding arc, while allowing the welder to view the molten weld

    pool or puddle.

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    There are a variety of welding helmets and styles available, among them are the flip

    front, the wide lens, and the auto-darkening lens.

    The flip front allows the welder to view the weld area through a clear lens, while still

    wearing the helmet, to safely slag the work or use a grinder.

    The wide lens helmet offers a wider view of the weld area.

    (Approximately 4 X 5 instead of 2 X 4) A flip front model of the wide lens helmet is alsoavailable.

    The Auto darkening helmets have a lens that is clear to allow the welder to see the joint

    before striking the arc. As soon as the welder strikes the arc, the lens darkens to the

    normal view of the welding puddle.

    The auto darkening lenses are very useful for; production welding where small

    welds can be made without constantly lifting the hood; for precise restarting of theweld; for striking the arc without hitting the surrounding area or other parts; forgrinding and oxy-fuel cutting.

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    Auto darkening lenses may also be purchased to fit into a standard helmet. The auto

    darkening style of helmet is a lot more expensive than the standard welding helmet and

    is not essential for use at the school.

    The welding helmet usually comes with a filter plate (dark plate) and a clear lens on the

    outer side. The filter lens should be shade number 10 for most welding. Check the

    documentation that comes with the helmet for information about the other lens shades

    that are available.

    If you use a second clear lens on the inside of the helmet it protects the filter plate when

    the helmet is laid down.

    It is critical to clean welding lenses daily and change the outer lens when it gets pitted or

    scratched, about weekly at the school. If the inner clear lens is in good condition simply

    swap it for the front clear lens and place a new lens on the inside. The dark filter plate, if protected by the cheaper clear lenses should not need to be

    changed.Filter lenses and clear lenses are available as plastic or glass. I prefer a Glass filter lensfor better viewing and plastic clear lens.

    Make sure you have an ample supply of clear lenses.

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    2.LEATHERWELDINGGLOVESThe welding gloves required for welding are the gauntlet type gloves that cover the

    forearms. Work gloves are not appropriate for arc welding.

    Lightweight gloves designed for TIG (Healy Arc) give the welder a better feel for

    manipulating the TIG torch and adding filler wire. The TIG gloves are not designed forSTICK or MIG.

    Gloves that are used to handle hot metal may become hard and brittle and crack. Use

    only pliers to handle hot weld coupons. Wet or damp gloves should never be used for electric arc welding. Gloves that develop even small holes should be discarded and replaced before

    continuing to weld.

    The less expensive work gloves may be used for general shop work, but should not be

    used for welding.

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    3.LEATHERJACKET,ORCAPESLEEVESANDBIBThe leather jacket, worn like a coat, offers the best upper body and neck protection

    from sparks and hot metal globules typical of welding positions other than flat. Most

    jackets have an inside pocket and snap all the way up to the collar.

    A lighter jacket made of fire retardant material may also be used in welding shops.

    Some of these jackets have leather sleeves. These jackets are good for light welding, but

    will wear and develop holes when doing a lot of vertical and overhead position welding.

    The Cape Sleeves and Biboutfit may be made of all leather or the fire retardant

    material shown above. You can select either just the sleeves or the cape and sleeves or

    the cape and sleeves with a front bib.

    Although open in the back, the all leather cape sleeves and bib are a good less expensive

    substitute for the full leather jacket, and is practical for all welding positions.

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    Note: the bib may be sold separately

    4.SAFETYGLASSESSafety glasses are mandatory for all industrial applications, and recommended eye

    protection for many hobby or home projects. In the welding environment Safety glasses further protect the eyes from the intenseultraviolet and infrared rays of the welding arc.

    Welders may get a condition known as an eye flash, either from striking an arc without

    the helmet in place, or more likely, from other welders working in the area.

    People that work around welders, are also vulnerable to eye flash without the proper

    protection. The safety glasses must have side shields to protect the corner of the eyewhen welders are working close by.An eye flash occurs when the unprotected eye is burned in a similar manner to a sun

    burn on skin. Painful problems from the flash usually s tart several hours after exposure

    (At Night) and may last all night into the next day. The symptoms include: A feeling of

    sand or grit in the eye, an inability to keep the eye open and focus, intense pain, redness

    swelling and watering, burning, and headac he.

    It is my experience that the flash will clear up without long term problems if you avoid

    further eye exposures. Consult a doctor if problems persist more than 48 hours.

    IT IS CRUCIAL TO WEAR SAFETY GLASSES WHEN WELDINGIf you wear prescription glasses, you should use side shields that slip on to the frames of

    glasses, to protect the sides of the eyes from exposure. Many flashes come from other

    welders and can burn the eye from the side. Goggles that fit over glasses may also be


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    5.WELDINGCAPA welding cap protects the head f