Professional welding can be a lucrative and rewarding field but it also carries certain inherent dangers. You are always dealing with high temps and electrical current so proper safety is a must. On the job injuries are not uncommon for welders but they won’t be serious if you take the proper precautions.
The following welding safety tips should help with the basics:
- Dress for success – Bare skin is never a good idea for a welder because you will be near such intense heat. To protect yourself you will need to dress appropriately:
- Safety glasses
- Welding bandana for under the helmet
- Light weight welding jacket
- Auto darkening helmet
- Heavy duty welding gloves
- Leather apron
- Denim pants (No Cuffs)
- Leather boots
- Know your equipment – No one likes to read the instructions for their toys but you should be familiar with your welding rig. If something isn’t working right you should be able to at least identify the problem even if you can’t fix it yourself
- Clear the air – The fumes given off during welding are not good for you and you need to avoid them whenever possible. An exhaust hood is a must to pull the fumes away from you as you work. Depending on the material you are welding, you may even need to wear a personal respirator to breathe safely. Check your electrode data sheet or ask the welding supervisor if you are unsure.
- Go to the dark side – When purchasing a helmet you will need to look for an industrial grade auto darkening model. This is not just because of their higher safety. They are also significantly lighter than previous models. They help to cut down on the strain on your neck which avoids repetitive stress disorders. They are more expensive than standard helmets but some companies have been known to split the cost of the helmet with you.