21 November 2017
When the correct and sufficient safety measures are taken in welding, the welding unit is a safe place to work. However, when these safety measures are overlooked, there are many dangers that can be faced by welders, such as burns, exposure to fumes and gases, fire, explosion and arc-eye.
Arc-eye is one of the most common hazards faced by welders. This painful condition is caused by exposure to the harmful UV light emitted by the welding torch. For the welder, using the correct helmet or hand held shield protects the eyes. A welding curtain is used to protect anyone else in the vicinity who may come into contact with the UV light. The condition is usually short-term, however, if it is not treated, or if the welder or other people in the area are exposed continually, the condition can become serious and potentially cause loss of sight. Therefore, the correct measures must be taken to ensure no exposure.
It is imperative, when planning the welding safety solutions for your fabrication unit, to ensure that the correct welding curtain is installed to minimise the risk of arc-eye, and to protect from other hazards. Welding screens, as well as filtering the UV light, confine the area and hugely reduce the risks involved in spark and spatter escaping from the welding area and causing fires or burns. PVC with a certain degree of transparency is the most commonly used material for welding screens, however, there are certain qualities that the PVC must have in order to be suitable for use as a welding curtain.
Welding PVC must conform to EN25980:2014. This standard specifies: safety requirements for transparent welding curtains, strips, and screens to be used for shielding of work places from their surroundings where arc welding processes are used. They are designed to protect people who are not involved in the welding process from hazardous radiant emissions from welding arcs and spatter.
You must ensure that your welding curtains conform to EN25980:2014. PVC welding curtains are available in a number of colours with varying levels of transparency. If no transparency is required, other materials can be used, such as fire retardant canvas. If your welding curtain does not conform to this standard, you risk injury to yourself or your employees. Clear or blue curtain is not suitable for welding.
Tusker Industrial Safety manufacture a wide range of PVC welding curtains and frames that conform to this standard, and are of a high quality. Our products are made by us, in the UK. You can find out more about our welding curtains and frames here.
Written By Sharon Shaw
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