When it comes to welding, safety equipment is an Absolute Must! This is not negotiable and must be used at all times.
The basics are as follows:
- A welding helmet with the proper shade lens for the process and amperage used when welding
- Safety glasses
- Leather welding gloves that are designed for welding
- Fire retardant long sleeve shirt or a leather welding jacket
- Pants that are made of cotton (preferably jeans) or are fire retardant
- Leather boots that are high enough (6″ or higher) for your pants to overlap them
- Always make sure you have proper ventilation!
Once you have all of your safety gear you can then start welding but don't expect to be a 100 % protected! Chances are even with all of the right equipment you will still get some burns or sparks that will find their way inside of your clothes or helmet. Let's face it! You are working with an arc that can reach 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit and is so bright it can blister your eyeballs with just a few seconds of exposure.
Finally, electricity can kill but only if you are careless! The dangers of welding are a long list but, to be safe, just read and follow the warning labels on the equipment!
On top of that just a few minutes of exposure to bare skin will result severe sunburn and it get worst the longer you are exposed! The big catch with burns from radiation is that you don't know it until a few hours later and by then it is too late! The picture on the left is flash burn I got because I did not button my collar. It was June in Ft Lauderdale, Fl with a heat index was over 105 degrees and we were working 18 plus hour shifts. It was just so hot that day and leaving my collar unbuttoned for a few minutes just did not seem like a bad idea. So this is the price I paid!