17 September 2018
In hazardous welding environments, ensuring that the welder is fully protected with suitable, fire retardant clothing is of paramount importance.
Welding and allied processes produce serious hazards which are determined by the process conditions and materials being used, so an assessment of this is required prior to the choice of welding PPE being made. The choice of welding PPE without first considering the risks involved may result in inadequate protection.
Adequate protection is achieved when the following points have been considered:
- The PPE chosen is suited to the welding environment
- The correct garments or combination of garments are chosen
- The PPE fits each worker correctly
- The worker is trained in the use of the PPE
- The PPE is regularly assessed for damage and replacements made if necessary
The PPE items to consider include the following:
Face shields and helmets
Face shields and helmets are required to protect the head, face and eyes from radiation and from spark/spatter and heat.
This ensures that the wearer is provided with safe air to breathe. The requirement for this type of protection is dependant on the nature of the contaminant (such a vapour, gas, fume or dust) and the concentration of the contaminant in the air.
Welding gloves or gauntlets protect against heat, contact heat, sparks, spatter and UV exposure. Glove protectors made from aluminised material or FR leather can be added to extend the life of welding gloves.
General protective clothing and shoes
Welding PPE general clothing should cover as much of the body as possible. Under garments made from synthetic materials such as nylon should be completely covered to reduce the risk of ignition.
Welding PPE garments made from flame retardant polycotton or Proban, are suitable for light welding applications. If the application involves harsher conditions where splashes of molten metal or radiant heat is a hazard, leather welding PPE garments should be worn.
Footwear worn during welding processes should give protection against impact, sharp objects and damage by spatter. The soles should be made of materials designed for protection against shock. Welding spats worn over the shoe and the lower leg give additional protection.
Tusker Industrial Safety manufacture and supply a range of carefully designed, high quality general PPE for welding with ranges made from Proban, FR leather and aluminised materials to cover the full range of welding, grinding and foundry environments. To find out more, visit our PPE pages here.
Written By Sharon Shaw
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