There are thousands of injuries reported in the Australian workplace every day. Most of these
injuries occur because of the lack of personal protection equipment worn by workers in the
welding field. These injuries can be avoided if workers wear the right kind of protective gear,
and wear it consistently. Here is a list of five must have equipment to keep you safe when
Burns are one of the most common injuries in the welding industry, as welders often receive
sparks landing on their skin while working. Welding arcs can be quite painful, and cause
horrid burns to the eyes and skin within a few minutes of exposure. To protect yourself from
injuries, it is important to wear general fire resistant clothing, including shoes, helmet, gloves,
leathers, and safety glasses. Wool clothing is more flame retardant than synthetics, because it
is more durable and synthetic materials tend to melt when exposed to extreme heat.
Oxy-fuel goggles don’t protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation produced by welding
arcs, do a welding helmet with a shaded lens needs to be worn whenever welding. These
lenses should be approved safety glasses or goggles, fully equipped with side shields, and
should always be worn to protect your eyes from flying particles and objects in the
workplace. Welders should only wear contact lenses is they are also equipped with the
appropriate protective eye wear, although they should consult their ophthalmologist or a
medical professional beforehand.
The only footwear that should be worn by welders is leather boots with a six to eight inch
ankle coverage. In workplaces that require heavy lifting, safety-toe protection, such as steel
capped boots, need to be worn. You should also consider wearing metatarsal guards over
your shoe laces to protect them from being caught by objects.
Thick, flame-resistant gloves made from materials such as leather should be worn when
welding to protect your hands and wrists from cuts, scratches, and more importantly, burns.
As long as your gloves are dry, they will also offer protection against electric shock. It is
important to make sure your gloves are free from holes or any other kinds of defects, such
as seam splits. It doesn’t matter if the hole is small, as any splits can cause a burn.
Helmets And Arc Rays
There are two types of radiation: infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV). IR radiation can cause
retina burning and cataracts, and is usually felt as heat. However, UV radiation cannot be felt,
and can significant injury to your eyes, such as discomfort, swelling, and even temporary
blindness. Because of this, it is important to wear helmets and arc rays to protect your skin
from repeated exposure, which can lead to cancer.
Welding has the potential to be dangerous, though with the proper use of equipment and
protective gear, it can significantly reduce risk and can be done in a safe environment. For
more information, visit http://www.welding.com.au/.