If you’re like me, when you think back to when you first started out in the weld shop, you cringe remembering how much you ignored welding safety… either because you didn’t know any better, you were young and thought you were invincible, or because the products (and the knowledge) just wasn’t available.
Case in point: the welding goggles featured in this photo. Clunky, and uncomfortable to wear… it seemed easier for tack weld to just avert your eyes!
Now, fortunately, the welding safety products are more comfortable and more innovative.
Joe Welder’s Favorite Welding Safety Products
One of the best things that’s come onto the market revolve around respiratory safety. From dust masks, to the Half Mask Respirator that fits under most helmets to Miller’s PAPR system…. We wrote a more extensive post about that last week, “Respiratory Welding Safety Basics”.
These products are great, especially when you are working with old dusty, rusty metal and MIG gun.
Even safety glasses have come a long way since the old days. And you KNOW you should be wearing them any time you’re sanding, filing, grinding, using an air hose–anytime you need to protect yourself from debris. It used to be the lens quality was bad and they were uncomfortable. Now the optics are much better, and they are inexpensive, so if you scratch them you can replace them pretty easily… not the big investment they used to be.
I also really appreciate a good flame retardant welding jacket. The newer jackets are comfortable, but loose fitting for great range of motion while protecting your arms and neck from sparks and arc burn. (that’s me on the left with my Miller Welding jacket, but I also really like the the BSX jacket with the red-flame sleeves.
Ear plugs are also great to have around. You can keep a pair in your pocket, and slip them in whenever you’re running loud machinery. Not like the old days when you’d have those big bulky head-phone-like things– that didn’t fit under your hood or your hard hat.
These are just a couple of my favorites… I really appreciate the technology behind the newer auto-darkening welding helmets, but I’ll save that for another post.
Check out Arc-Zone’s Welding Safety Education section where you’ll find downloadable (and free) PDFs that cover Eye Protection and Fume Control (and more!) and our collection of Safety Guides, Operations Manuals, and MSDS sheets.