Safety Tips

Protect welders from burns

Image: Thurtell/iStockphoto

Welders encounter a number of burn hazards on the job, including sparks and spatter flying off the welding arc, sparks and hot metal blowing off the cutting flame, and hot equipment, according to the American Welding Society. Additionally, arc rays can cause radiation burns.

To help welders prevent burn injuries, AWS recommends a number of tips, including:

  • Wear approved welding helmets that protect the face, neck and ears, and wear a head covering.
  • Wear safety goggles or safety glasses – even under a helmet.
  • Ensure work gloves and aprons don’t have holes.
  • Wear flame-resistant earplugs or earmuffs to prevent sparks from getting in the ears.
  • Wear oil-free, flame-resistant, non-melting protective gloves, shirts, pants and caps. Also, wear leather leggings and flame-resistant boots when necessary.
  • Remove any combustible items, such as lighters or matches, before welding.
  • Don’t wear clothing with cuffs or open pockets – these spaces can trap molten metal or sparks.
  • Use sheet metal screens for additional protection when heavy welding or cutting takes place.

To help keep non-welding workers safe, clearly mark hot work areas so others can stay clear, AWS states. If a job requires multiple people, everyone should follow all required procedures and wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

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