How do you protect yourself when welding?
During welding, workpieces are joined together using heat. There are different welding processes, whether fusion welding with heat or pressure welding with force, all of them have an extensive risk potential.
Dangers when welding without protective clothing
When welding, care must be taken against heat, flying sparks, UV rays and bright arcs. These dangers can lead to burns to the skin or damage to the eyes, among other things.
Protective clothing for welding
To protect against these dangers, there are special protective clothing for welding. This should cover the body as completely as possible to reduce the potential danger.
The protective clothing includes in particular
- A safety helmet; if necessary a hand shieldLeather glovesLeather apron or leather jacketEar protection Ear protectorsRespiratory protection maskSafety shoesWelding gaiters (shoe covers)
The safety helmet offers a darkened visor, a true-colour filter and a large field of vision, through which the welder has an optimal view of his material and his welding equipment. The prerequisite for working with both hands is optimally given. With the hand shield, however, the welder is forced to work with one hand. The gloves, apron and jacket made of leather offer the welder safe protection against burns.
A breathable material on the gloves gives the welder the possibility to feel easily. The welder’s gaiters connect to the safety shoe. They offer protection against injuries caused by sparks during welding. Some of the gaiters extend to below the knee and are laced, wrapped or buttoned.
Noise protection during welding
Since some welding methods are particularly noise-intensive, it is possible to use ear protectors or erect sound-proof walls.
Protection during welding at the workplace
The working area during welding should be kept dry and clean. It is also important that highly inflammable objects and materials are stored out of reach of the welder. In case of fire, a fire extinguisher should be available nearby.
Against the heat at the workplace, heat protection fabrics can be applied as yard goods that can withstand temperatures up to 1300 degrees Celsius or welding curtains that can withstand temperatures up to 850 degrees Celsius. To protect the respiratory tract, filter and suction systems are used to keep the air clean. If such a system is not available, breathing masks also provide protection against toxic vapours and gases.