Welding Safety isn’t just about protecting yourself from your welding equipment, sometimes its about protecting yourself from your (summer hot) environment.
A couple years ago Miller, a leader in welding safety products, introduced a couple of products designed to help you avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion–two of the most serious heat-related health problems.
Welding Safety Products to Keep You Cool
Check out the lightweight, belt-mounting CoolBelt™ system which can lower temperatures under your welding hood up to 17 degrees! The CoolBelt offers multiple air speeds and directional air controls to keep air moving over the users face and head.
The CoolBand™ is an integrated system that works with most Miller Arc Armor helmets to reduce under-the-hood temperature by up to 8 degrees (Farenheit). A single battery charge will get you up to six hours of continuous cooling!
With summer in full swing, it’s important to be on the lookout for heat stroke and heat exhaustion, especially if you’re welding in the field. Try to avoid being in the direct sun, and be sure to stay hydrated. And take breaks.
Heat stroke…. occurs when the body’s temperature regulating system fails and body temperature rises to critical levels (greater than 104°F).This is a medical emergency that may result in death! The signs of heat stroke are confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures. Workers experiencing heat stroke have a very high body temperature and may stop sweating. If a worker shows signs of possible heat stroke, get medical help immediately, and call 911.
Until medical help arrives, move the worker to a shady, cool area and remove as much clothing as possible. Wet the worker with cool water and circulate the air to speed cooling. Place cold wet cloths, wet towels or ice all over the body or soak the worker’s clothing with cold water.
Heat Exhaustion…. signs and symptoms [include] headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, confusion, thirst, heavy sweating and a body temperature greater than 100.4°F.
Workers with heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot area and given liquids to drink. Remove unnecessary clothing including shoes and socks. Cool the worker with cold compresses to the head, neck, and face or have the worker wash his or her head, face and neck with cold water. Encourage frequent sips of cool water. Workers with signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion should be taken to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment. Make sure that someone stays with the worker until help arrives. If symptoms worsen, call 911 and get help immediately.
A big part of welding safety is knowing what the hazards are, and being prepared to address them. Check out these guides to dealing with heat: 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).
Don’t forget about the welding safety products in the Arc-Zone.com webstore! From welding apparel to protect you from stray sparks, to goggle, helmets, respiratory safety equipment, we’ve got you covered!
And always keep your (welding) cool!