It really shouldn’t take us by surprise that welding is one of the most dangerous professions in America. I mean, we’re literally waltzing around with miniature electric flame throwers. We’ve survived by learning from our mistakes quicker than any other hobby or career on the planet. Yet somehow, the same injury tends to pop up over and over again. We present to you welding’s most common injury:
Let this be a warning to all you naked welders. If you’re not wearing protective equipment when you weld, you’re fighting the statistics because the most common injury in welding is getting burned. Of course, burns can happen in a number of different ways. Most of us know to avoid skin contact with your welding arc, but here’s a few ways to get burned you probably haven’t thought of.
Burns can be caused by fires started from welding sparks. All it takes is one greasy rag. Often the problem isn’t the initial fire, but what happens after. Some less experienced welders have actually place buckets of water near their workspace in case of fire, only to be electrocuted when the water comes in contact with their machine’s electricity. Other welders don’t have anything to take care of fires and end up helplessly beating open flames down with their hands. A better alternative to death by fire or electric shock is a fire extinguisher.
Eye burns are also incredibly common. Many of us don’t realize welding arcs actually produce UV radiation. Unlike visible sparks or heat, UV rays are much harder for us to detect until it’s too late. The key comes down to using a good welding helmet. Often welders using Oxy-fuel goggles get lazy and don’t switch back to their helmet when they start welding. Oxy-fuel goggles don’t have the needed UV ray protection, meaning a fist full of harmful radiation straight into your retinas. Only Helmets with properly tinted lens will keep your eyes from looking like the one below.
Finally, burns can actually happen in your ears. We’re serious, your ears. Lincoln Electric as well as many other trusted names in welding actually recommend using earmuffs or earplugs to keep metal sparks and airborne particles from going into your ear canal.
A huge part of welding safety depends simply on the gear you’re using. No matter how smart you handle the situation, if you’re using unreliable safety equipment, you’re going to get burned. That’s why we’ve put this list together of the most reliable safety equipment ever made:
Right now’s a perfect time to buy helmets, with sales up to 26% off the suggested products below.