There’s something undeniably satisfying about welding, an activity practiced by millions of professionals and amateurs around the world. Because it also involves a fair amount of risk and hazards to your body, it’s crucial that you practice welding with adequate safety equipment, regardless of your years of experience or level of expertise. You certainly don’t want to get burned with that torch or permanently damage your eyesight!
To that end, we’ve compiled the most essential gears any welder should wear in order to prevent accidents, whether in the workplace or in your own garage.
So, skip on the cheap stuff and invest in quality items that will guarantee your safety, optimize your practice and last with time.
Since they’ll be the ones doing the job and handling tools, your hands need superior protection to ensure you don’t get injured during the process. Especially for beginners, it’s imperative to get a pair of robust welding gloves that will withstand the heat and prevent mishaps. You’ll find a variety of models at different price points with some bit of online research.
For those looking to up their welding game, a helmet is a must addition to your gear. Welding helmets allow for maximum face protection against sizzling projectiles, as well as protect your eyes from intense UV lights emitted by the torch. To help guide your choice, the welding pros recommend that the best helmets for any welder are those integrated with modern tech that promotes both safety and functionality. You’ll find plenty of models with unique characteristics that will help you navigate the myriad of options at your disposal. You’re bound to find a suitable helmet according to your level and frequency of practice, needs and budget.
In a similar vein, you should equip yourself with welding sleeves that will guarantee that your arms are safe from sparks. Along with your hands, they’re the most exposed body parts when working with metal. That’s why welding sleeves cover your arm from wrist to shoulder, and are more practical if you’re looking to perform a quick job. Opt for a high quality fireproof pair.
A welding apron is another must-have for both amateurs and pros who work with blowtorches and other risky tools. It’s usually made with sturdy materials such as leather or suede and provides torso coverage to avoid dangerous projections. It’s breathable in the summer and acts as a shield; however, a welding apron should always be worn with gloves and sleeves for maximum safety.
While they don’t provide the same degree of protection as helmets, glasses are a good, affordable option if you’re looking to carry on light work such as cutting. However, glasses are in no way a substitute for a full helmet, and you shouldn’t wear them when handling plasmas or torches. Many brands specialize in welding glasses, which you’ll definitely need as part of your equipment.
If you’re a seasoned pro looking for ultimate protection, then you need a quality welding jacket. Jackets are ideal for core safety as they cover areas that a regular apron doesn’t. They’re ideal for heavier welding tasks. You’ll be looking for a durable and fireproof jacket that will withstand heat and shelter your body from sparks and flying bits of metal. There are plenty of options to choose from, online or in specialized stores.
Lower body protection
It’s important to keep in mind that your whole body is potentially exposed to injuries while welding.
Which is why you should consider adding these items to your safety equipment, depending on your practice:
- Pants: An indispensable gear that will protect your legs from falling sparks or metal pieces. They’re especially useful if you happen to weld in a seated position
- Knee pads: If you spend a lot of time on your knees while working, it’s best to get yourself some adequate protection to avoid pressure and pains
- Welding chaps: If you’re looking for practicality, you can opt for a welding chap which combines upper body and below-the-belt protection
- Boots: Your feet also need to be safeguarded from the risks that come with welding. For optimal protection, purchase a pair of solid leather boots that maximize both comfort and mobility.
All things considered, the risks aren’t scarce and any well-disposed welder should know the importance of wearing proper gear for protection. Remember to select safety equipment and items that are adequate to your level of practice; while an enthusiast won’t necessarily need a body jacket, a welding expert cannot go without a full-on helmet for longer and more intricate job tasks.