Category Archives: Welding Safety

Tips for staying safe while welding.

Health Tips for Welding Safely

Since June is National Safety Month,  we signed up for the National Safety Council newsletter, full of tips each week for staying safe on the job.  These don’t apply specifically to welding, they are good general safety tips.

This week’s feature is on employee wellness, so I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about heat stress, especially for you folks welding out-of-doors where in some parts of the country we’re already hitting triple digits!  And it’s not even summer yet!

First, take care of yourself:  get exercise (even if you have a physical job, consider yoga, or a stretching routine), and eat right.    Did you know there are foods you can eat that can improve your body’s ability to handle the heat?  One of the best tips I’ve seen is “Eat your water” meaning eat foods that have a high water content (WATERmelon, celery, cucumber, etc.).  And avoid fatty foods.  Read more tips: “Beat the Heat with These Super Cool Foods”


You may also want to take a look at some of the great heat-beating welding apparel accessories you can add to your arsenal.  Check out Miller’s new Arc Armor™ Heat Stress Protection products:  The CoolBand™ and the CoolBelt™.

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June is (Welding) Safety Month

The National Safety Council sets aside each June as National Safety Month so we thought we’d follow their lead and focus on safety in the welding industry this month.

It seems every day in the news there is a report of some accident:

Welding mishap blamed for barn fire….

Fatal oil-tank explosion tied to welding….

Welding gear may have sparked Birmingham Gardens fire…

You’ll notice the common theme: fire.  But welding safety is about more than just keeping your sparks away from flammable material.  Welding safety is about proper clothing and eye protection and welding safety is about equipment maintenance, and a safe work environment.

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New Year, New Welding Helmet?

You probably don’t really need a new welding helmet, but how could you resist this awesome helmet from Miller:

Miller Performance Series auto-darkening welding helmet  (MIL-256-165)



I just love the graphics on this helmet–but even more important is the safety it offers.  This is a solid helmet great for any welding application.  The inside of the helmet has adjustable headgear for improved fit and comfort, while the auto-darkening lens is powered by three independent sensors with a lens speed of 1/20,000 second and two replaceable lithium batteries that last up to 3,000 hours… This is the Performance Series Illusion Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet from Miller– part number MIL-256 165.

At Arc-Zone in addition to the  Miller welding helmets, you’ll find Jackson, and Huntsman welding helmets, from fixed shade to auto darkening to passive helmets.  And if you’re not sure which helmet is right for you, check out our Guide to Choosing Welding Helmets and Goggles (PDF), written by the technical experts at Arc-Zone.

If you’re not in the market for  a snazzy new welding helmet, keep in mind that you can give your current helmet a tune-up.  Arc-Zone carries replacement parts, from the lenses themselves to batteries  to the headgear assembly. You’ll find Miller welding helmet replacement parts online here–>  and Jackson welding helmet replacement parts here–>

PS:  if your finding your eyes are not what they used to be… did you know you can buy “cheater” lenses for your welding helmet?

Don’t shop, WELD!

With less than one day left before we’ll be sitting around the tree opening presents, if you’ve not finished your Christmas shopping, you may find yourself tempted to go the mall.  Don’t go!  Instead, wouldn’t you rather be welding?  There are tons of great gifts you can make to hand out, and you’ll be doing something you love, for someone you love!

We’ve heard from tons of fans who have welded gifts:  a stainless steel flower, a welding table, a Christmas Candelabra, belt buckles made with stainless tubing and TIG wire,  a fire pit, a barbecue pit, a horseshoe and wagon wheel bench…. The creativity of our fans is amazing!

Arc-Zone’s own Joanie (aka MIG Ryan) loves to weld gifts for her friends and family and wanted share some tips.

Joanie recommends a MIG welder.  “It’s quick and easy to set up for mild steel. And if you use scrap, most of the metal you’ll find is usually some type of steel.”

Joanie also loves her plasma cutter, “I call it my paintbrush for metal,” she says.  You could also use a die grinder with a flap disc to remove surface rust and welding slag to add another level of texture, basic hammering tools, chisels, vice grips, nippers, metal shears, a chop saw, and other metal hand tools to shape the metal you’re working with.

For any items that are going to be outside, cure items with clear acrylic.  “Once it’s out in the elements, different characteristics of the metal will emerge,” Joanie says.

1. Joanie’s favorite items to make as gifts usually involve using found objects or repurposing things.  “I take an old hand saw—most people throw them away—and I write a positive message like ‘Life’s a Journey. Have Fun’ on it and cut it out with my plasma cutter.  Joanie says these signs are perfect for the garden.

2. Joanie also likes to make heart signs—which also make great gifts. (pictured above)

3. Windchimes are another whimsical and easy to make gift with scrap metal, everything from bottle caps to broken down metal parts.  Joanie even adds rocks for a natural element and gears—whatever she has found laying around.

4. Picture frames made of scrap metal are always a popular item, especially if it includes a nice picture of you with your special friend!

5. My favorite of Joanie’s gift items are the garden critters.  They’re so wacky and fun.

Half mask welding respirator

Of course, like all of us here at Arc-Zone, Joanie say:  SAFETY FIRST!  Especially a  respirator and proper hand, ear and eye protection. “The Miller half mask respirator is AWESOME. I can’t tell you how much I love that,” she says. (pictured right)

Arc-Zone not only carries these, but a great line of welding safety gear—and even welding apparel sized and designed for women.


Women Welders are Hot! Here’s How We Beat The Summer Heat

Women welders are hot, and the truth is, everyone is hot.  This summer we’ve seen record-breaking temperatures across the United States.  But welders, working with a heated tool like a TIG/GTAW Torch or a MIG/GMAW Gun, wearing sleeves to protect from sparks and burns, and welding helmets to protect the eyes, have an increased vulnerability to heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.  And if you’re part of the crew repairing the pipeline, the electric grid, the bridge, etc, you can’t always choose to stay indoors in a nice cool air-conditioned environment.

The first step in protecting yourself from the effects of the heat is to take some precautions:

Work early in the day to avoid the worst heat

Wear cotton flame retardant welding clothing.  Cotton is lightweight and breathable and long sleeves can protect you not only from the errant spark, but from the sun as well.

Hydrate!  Always make sure you have plenty of water on hand. Drink before you start work and avoid caffeinated and/or carbonated drinks—caffeine dehydrates the body and carbonation can cause bloating which deters you from drinking enough water.

Replace electrolytes (lost by sweating) by drinking sports drinks or eating food.

Eat right! Choose foods rich in the fatty acids and minerals that promote a healthy endocrine system (the part of your body that regulates heat response). Good choices include leafy greens like collard greens, kale, seafood (salmon and tuna are good options) and nuts, olive oil, broccoli, kale. Some herbalists even suggest that certain herbs and spices such as pepper, turmeric, and ginger are good additions for hot weather eating.

Include fruits and vegetables naturally high in water content.  The obvious choice is watermelon, but don’t forget others like pineapple, cucumbers, apples, oranges, and tomatoes.

Take regular breaks in a shaded area.


Heat exhaustion, untreated, can lead to heat stroke–evidenced by high body temperature, rapid pulse, mental confusion, difficulty breathing, and potentially even seizure or coma.

If you do notice signs of exhaustion—such as nausea, dizziness, cramps, fatigue, weakness, headache—STOP what you are doing.  Find some shade, or a cool room, and drink some cold fluids.

The next step is to be sure you have the proper equipment.

Wear welding gloves with a lining that absorbs the sweat.

Invest in a Miller Heat Stress Coolbelt or a Miller Coolband Helmet Cooling System— the ultimate in high-tech heat relief from the experts at Miller.

Miller Coolbelt

The Coolbelt is like carrying your own personal cooling system wherever you go.  It connects to your Miller Arc Armor welding helmet and can lower the temperature inside your hood by up to 17 degrees Farenheit for extreme relief, and improved productivity.

The Miller Coolband system also connects to your Miller Arc Armor welding helmet and offers a fan system that can reduce under-the-hood temperatures by up to 8 degrees Farenheit.

Wear a Cushioned Welding Helmet Sweatband

Wear a welding cap or our favorite—the BSX FireRag FR Doo Rag

 Welding cap

For more information visit the Center for Disease Control page on heatstress,  and their Tips for maintaining personal safety in the heat.  Also, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guide to Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat (.pdf) and the OSHA Fact Sheet on Working Outdoors in Warm Climates (.pdf).

And always weld with a cool head!


Are you welding safely?


Most fabricators know the importance of safety.  After all, working with flames, fumes, electricity, molten metal, hot surfaces, chemicals, cables, and cords–not to mention sharp objects–can be dangerous if proper care is not taken.

June is national safety month, in case you missed it, but like many other months, June has had its fill of welding related accidents. Here’s a sampling:

At Arc-Zone we KNOW safety is important, and for that reason we take special care to include with every order the operations and safety guides you need to ensure everyone is properly trained on everything from the Arc-Time LTG Tungsten Grinder to the Smith Flow Meter.  Our easy-to-read operations guides are also available online in our Welding Safety section, in case you need to download another copy.  You’ll also find the MSDS sheets for tungsten electrodes  and other chemicals used in your weld shop.  AND, the most recent additions to our Welding Library includes technical focus papers on Choosing Welding Helmets (for protecting your eyes) and an Arc-Zone exclusive:  Eye Care for Welders.

Safety apparel is also integral to a worker’s well-being and when we discovered the AngelFire line of welding safety apparel for women, we were so excited that we updated our website right away, becoming  the first supplier to sell the  women’s welding gloves and the Flame Resistant Welding Jackets online.  (We sell men’s welding safety apparel too).  Proper fit is not just important for good looks, it’s important for safety as well.

Arc-Zone also carries Respiratory Safety equipment, heat stress products, safety glasses and  of course, welding helmets.

Another good source for safety information is the manufacturers’ websites.  Miller has fantastic safety information on their website, many of their safety sheets in other languages:  French, Spanish, Russian, German, and Italian to name a few, a reminder that welding is a global industry!

For more guidance on safety in the welding workplace, be sure to check out the American Welding Society’s Safety and Health Fact Sheets, and the National Safety Council’s Workplace Solution publications for information on everything from chemical safety to skin protection.

And if your workplace isn’t as safe as you think it should be…  the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) may be able to offer guidance.  You have the right to a safe workplace!