Welding Essentials: 4 Items any Safety-Conscious Welder Needs On Hand
Welding is a fabrication process that involves heating and melting of metals. As a welder, you need to protect yourself from the high heat, particles and fumes. Below are must-have protective items to keep you safe during welding.
Full-Face Welding Helmets
An auto dimming welding helmet is an essential item for any welder. It helps to dim the shield when it senses bright light. This feature contributes to protecting the eyes from ultraviolet and infrared rays that are emitted by the welding arc. Also, it makes it easier to set up and find the weld joint when the mask is down. A welding helmet also prevents chippings from reaching your face during the process. A good helmet should cover the full face with a provision of a clear glass and a sturdy strap to secure in place.
Welding involves the production of heat from melting metals together. If the hands are exposed, the heat can cause burns. Gloves help to achieve a good grip when handling metals and welding devices. Therefore, it is important to wear a pair of heavy duty and heat resistant gloves when welding. Also, the gloves should be long enough to cover the hands up to the elbows for maximum protection. Leather gloves are sturdy and last long as they can withstand friction during welding.
Welding jackets offer a significant amount of protection to your chest and upper hands. In hot weather, welding bibs are preferable. They protect the neck, shoulders, and chest from heat and particles during welding. It is advisable to wear long sleeve t-shirts, like those available from companies like Over Under Clothing, alongside other protective clothing. Aprons offer flexibility for movement of the arms while protecting against heat. Cotton or leather welding clothing is durable and strong enough to withstand heat.
The process of welding can produce harmful gases and fumes that you can easily inhale. Also, dust and other particles are emitted when melting metals. These particles can pose a risk of respiratory problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Therefore, wearing a dust mask or a respirator under the helmet can prevent the fumes from reaching your lungs. They sieve the air you breath hence blocking out particles and fumes.
Safety items should protect the arms, face and the entire body. The items should be of a quality material to withstand friction and offer heat resistance. Heavy duty gloves, helmets, nose respirators and appropriate welding clothing should be worn at all times during welding.