Anyone who is looking to enter the field of welding can look forward to a rewarding career. Not only will there always be a need for master welders, but the pay is above average and jobs can be found almost anywhere on earth once you’ve learned your trade. Whether you are about to embark on a career as a welder or have a friend or family member about to begin a vo-tech course of study, there is some gear you must have in this profession. Why? Safety is always at stake. This is a list of some of the most important ‘must have’ safety gear for welders.
1. Welding Gloves
This is one piece of safety gear most people who are not in the business often overlook. They think of goggles, jackets, safety vests and so on, but gloves? Welding gloves keep your hands safe from sparks and flames, which can easily cause third-degree burns.
2. Safety Goggles
Safety goggles not only protect your eyes from being burned by those flying sparks, but that bright light can very quickly blind you. If you are going to be welding, you definitely need to protect your eyes, and even if you own a helmet with a faceplate, you still need protective goggles because you may not always deem it necessary to don that heavy helmet.
Speaking of a welding hat, this is also a must-have on anyone’s list of welding safety gear. As a precaution against getting burned anywhere on the head, an OSHA approved helmet is a must. Not only does a helmet protect your face and head but it can also add a layer of protection around your eyes. Being blinded is one of the biggest risks among welders who don’t take adequate safety precautions.
4. Steel Reinforced Toes – Boots or Shoes
Just as sparks fly up, they also fly in all directions, which include down toward your feet. Never wear sandals or any other open-toe kind of shoe and canvas is a definite no-no. Boots with steel reinforced toes are the best because they protect your foot and ankle, but shoes will do as well if that’s what you are more comfortable in. Make sure they are leather, though, because synthetics and natural fibers like canvas go up in flames altogether too quickly.
5. Respirator or Dust Mask
When welding, hot particles fly about, and you will not want to be burning your throat or lungs breathing them in. Also, heated fumes from welding can be quite toxic over time. Depending on the type of welding you will be doing, a dust mask may be sufficient. But, when dangers are greater, a respirator is your best choice.
Never begin welding anything whatsoever, no matter how small a job it appears to be unless you are adequately protected. Don’t let one accident put you out of business forever. Accidents happen more frequently than you know, but with proper safety gear and a bit of extra care when welding, you can have a safe, long, and rewarding career.