Welding is a profession that’s been around a long time, and demand continues to grow as numerous industries need skilled workers now more than ever. It may seem dangerous dealing with intense heat and metal, but when welders practice safe habits and have the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), they can put those fears aside and focus on the job.
In our guide, we’ll review the vital safety equipment every welder should have from head to toe.
When welding, your hands are consistently close to hot sparks and metal, so heat-resistant gloves are an absolute must no matter how quick or minor the job may seem. Ensure you use insulated gloves that completely cover the hands and wrists so there’s no exposed skin.
Welding Helmet With Eye Protection
The helmet is a staple of welding, but it’s not just for keeping sparks and hot metal off your face—it’s also for protecting your eyes. Welding produces blinding light; without adequate eye protection, the light can cause permanent eye damage.
Hot slugs and sparks can come from anywhere while welding, so a good heat-resistant jacket is essential for any welder to stay safe. A high-quality, heat-resistant, or fire-retardant coat is ideal, but a sturdy leather jacket will do in a pinch.
Button, zip, clamp, or tape down any pockets on a jacket before you begin welding to ensure no sparks jump into an open pocket and burn a hole through to your skin.
Welding Pants Without Cuff
A welder’s legs are just as susceptible to burns as their arms, so welding pants are an absolute must. Avoid any pants with a cuff, as they’re opportunities for hot sparks to jump into the open crevice and cause injury.
Welding pants should overlap your welding boots by at least a couple of inches to ensure they don’t ride up and expose ankle skin while you’re working.
The boots are the last component in protecting a welder’s skin and body. Some welders get complacent and think they don’t need to strap on their boots for a quick task, but that’s dangerous thinking.
A welder’s feet are just as susceptible to sparks and hot debris as any other body part. With ordinary shoes, burning metal can fall on a welder’s foot without noticing and burn right through, ruining the shoes and, more drastically, searing your skin.
Never tuck welding pants into boots as it allows sparks to fall into the boot and burn your feet.
Without proper protection, welding can also cause damage to a welder’s lungs. The fumes and gases from welding can lead to long-term lung damage and even cause a welder to pass out if the work area lacks proper ventilation or if they’re not wearing a respirator.
Now that you know what safety gear every welder should have, you’ve got a checklist to ensure you’re well-protected for your next welding job!