Welding, which involves fusing together two pieces of metal, is a highly skilled, blue-collar profession that not only typically pays well, but is also in high-demand. This means that once one graduates from a technical school with their certificate in hand, they will generally have no shortage of opportunities waiting for them.
Like most professions in the trades, employees need to have tools and the right equipment to do the job. For welders, this means the proper personal protection equipment. While some companies will supply the basics, most prospective employees will want to have their own personal safety gear. Here is a look at what every welder should have to protect themselves from on-the-job mishaps.
A welding helmet is an absolute must for a welder. This lightweight helmet cover some or all of the face, but the main thing it is protecting is the eyes. The welding process can be very dangerous to the sensitive eye tissues. Without the proper protection, a welder can get was is known as "arc eye," where the cornea becomes inflamed or the retina is burned, which can cause blindness. The ultraviolet emissions caused by the welding process is akin to intense sunlight, so the viewing area in the helmet is tinted, much like sunglasses. The ultraviolet emissions can cause a type of sunburn, even in a relatively short time, and the helmet protect the eyes and the face.
The byproducts produced by welding can cause fumes that are dangerous if inhaled. Many times, the fumes aren't particularly dangerous in short bursts, but over the course of a career, they can be quite dangerous, causing severe respiratory issues and even certain types of cancer. Different types of respirators are available, and what type you need is dependent on not only what type of welding you are doing, but what type of materials you are working with as well. A welding supply store can help assess your needs and get you set up.
Fire And Flame Resistant Clothing
Welders work with incredibly high temperatures, often in confined areas. So, of course, it is extremely important they wear clothing that will resist burning as they work among the hundreds of sparks being thrown around. The welding supply store offers a wide array of work clothes as well as welding aprons to wear over your clothing to help protect you from excess heat, radiation, and burns. Safety boots, usually steel-toed, as well as gloves to protect the hands and feet are also required.