The Ultimate Guide to Protective Welding Equipment
At its core, welding consists of using a source of heat to melt the edges of metal parts that will be combined together. Welding is mostly used to join together pipes and other infrastructural components.
Welding is an ancient technique that has been around for centuries and is still considered the most economical and efficient way to join metals permanently. The first forms of welding date back to the age of bronze. At that time, small gold circular boxes were made by pressure welding lap joints together.
Over the course of time, and thanks to the evolution of technology, the technique has become more than just a pure functional metalworking technique. Expert welders are capable of creating the most extravagant shapes in metal and welding is nowadays considered a form of art.
The following images are just an example of what expert welders can do.
Although welding technology improved exponentially over the course of years, the process still carries some hazards, including electric shock, fumes and gases, fire and explosions and more.
To help keep welders safe, organizations such as the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offer safety guidelines to control, minimize or help employers and workers avoid welding hazards. Employers should ensure all workers have an opportunity to comply with the following important guidelines in the workplace:
- Read and understand manufacturer instructions for equipment
- Carefully review material safety data sheets
- Follow the company’s internal safety practices
Equipment is also fundamental to keep workers safe. Regardless of the welding process, welders should always be equipped with the following items:
Welding helmets are fundamental to protect eyes, face, and neck from flash burn, ultraviolet light, sparks, infrared light, and heat.
This type of gear is mostly used with arc welding processes such as shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and gas metal arc welding.
Welding gloves are an indispensable component of the welding safety pack. They are necessary to protect hands from flying sparks, heat, or even flame-ups.
It is important to keep them dry and in good condition to avoid the risk of electric shock.
Here’s our recommendation.
Sleeves help to protect welders’ arms during the job. They are a good alternative to welding jackets, especially for those workers who prefer individual garments during a welding task.
Here’s our choice of welding sleeves.
FIRE/FLAME RESISTANT CLOTHING
Welding aprons and jackets preserve freedom of movement for welders’ arms and bodies while still protecting the workers from welding hazards. They are usually made of leather. Light-weight cotton aprons are also a good solution for light jobs or TIG welding.
Here’s what we recommend.
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Our recommendations, however, come from our experience and research and are not influenced by anyone other than our editors.