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PPE in Welding

Posted on June-06-2022

The welding profession is one that brings a higher risk of injury compared to others. This is why it is extremely important for workers to ensure that they are using personal protective equipment (PPE). Welders are exposed to extreme heats and powerful equipment daily, so it is vital PPE is taken seriously. PPE exists to keep welders safe and should be the first step before starting any welding process.

Why is PPE important?

As we have mentioned, there are many risks to workers when welding. They are exposed to fumes, flame, flying projectiles, extreme environments, to name a few. Although the environment should be made safe to eradicate these hazards when possible, PPE will ensure that any welders are being protected. Accidents happen and it is hard to anticipate them but PPE means you are prepared when they do happen.
Welders who work without PPE are open to common welding risks such as carcinogenic welding fumes, aggressive airborne particles and high temperatures. If workers choose to not wear PPE, or are not supplied with it, they are subject to damaging vital organs such as lungs, skin and eyes.

PPE For Welding

Here are several types of PPE that is necessary for most welding situations:

Headshields/Face Screens

The eyes and face are probably the most exposed area when welding. It is important to protect them from risks like flying debris, particles, sparks, intense light and radiation. Headshields and face shields are perhaps the most iconic symbol when it comes to welding and protects the eyes and face.
There are two types of headshields; advanced and manual passive. Manual passive headshields are more traditional and do not have any technological additions. Due to the material being wider and more rectangular, they offer more coverage around the face and neck compared to face shields. Most headshields are made from Superglass plus, a material formulated for light weight and strength.
Face screens differ slightly from headshields, they do not cover as much of the head. Typically, face screens are made from a visor and a headpiece that secures the face screen. There is usually a face seal inside of the face screen. This is what keeps it flush against the skin. Face screens can be paired with head, shoulder and neck covers to provide more protection.

Fume Extraction

Fume extraction is important to ensure that the lungs are protected from fumes and oxides associated with welding. If welders are not protected from fumes, it can have long term adverse impact by evolving cancerous cells and can in some cases causes asphyxiation. Fume extraction equipment removes hazardous fumes before they reach dangerous levels in the lungs.

Gloves and Gauntlets

If the skin is exposed, heat, fires and radiation can cause harsh burns. Skin is sensitive and even the smallest projectiles can cause severe irreversible damage. Welding can cause a lot of sparks and even though most do extinguish in the air, it can lead to blistering and open wounds if they do happen to fall on the skin. Rubber-soled gloves with steel provide the most protection, but insulated gloves are also favoured by welders as they have heat resistant properties.

Arc Welding Services

At Arc Welding, we supply a wide range of welding equipment to customers in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. We can supply a range of new or used welding equipment including welding and gas cutting, as well as protective equipment and other relevant accessories. For more information about our products and services, please call us on 0121 327 2249 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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