Why Do Welders Wear Shades When They Work?Posted by On

It is common to see a welder either wearing protective goggles or a face mask, and there are a number of reasons for this. From a safety point of view, wearing eye protection is essential when working with heat, as it protects against hot metal flying into the eyes, but there are other reasons why your eyes need to be shielded when welding.

Arc Eye

This is a painful condition that is caused by unprotected exposure to highly concentrated ultraviolet and infrared rays emitted from a welding arc. This can also cause skin damage, causing a sunburn type effect in a short time of the skin being exposed to arc welding.  The condition is not permanent, and the symptoms include pain, tears, and swelling of the eyes. People in the near vicinity can also be affected, and should avoid looking at the arc, as they too, can be injured. Wearing the right goggles offers adequate protection against arc eye, as does a mask, although most welders prefer to wear goggles, as they also protect against flying particles of slag.

Other Welding Related Injuries

Welding related eye injuries can come from any of the following,

  • Damage caused by flying hot objects
  • Radiation and Photochemical burns from ultra-violet radiation (UVR)
  • Radiation and photochemical burns from infrared radiation
  • Irritation and burns from chemicals and fumes

Any professional welder will always carry suitable protection when working, and masks and goggles should be regularly inspected for damage.

Safety Regulations

Regulations state that any welder must have adequate protection when working, and this covers not only the eyes, but any area of exposed skin should be covered when welding. Welding helmets are made to the highest standards, and there are also fume extracting machines that can keep the atmosphere clean while working.

Electric Shock

Arc welders run the risk of secondary electric shock from an arc welding circuit, and this can range from 20 to 100 volts. To avoid secondary shock, welders should wear good quality dry gloves and never touch the electrode holder, as this is always very hot and is active even when welding is not taking place.

Online Welding Companies

If you require the services of a welder and are based in Western Australia, Diverse Welding in Perth, WA, are experts in all forms of commercial welding. They specialise in the gas and oil industries, mining, and pharmaceutical applications, and with many years of hands-on experience, no job is too big or small. There are a few welding companies in Perth, mainly due to the mining presence in the area, so if you need the services of an established company, a quick online search will reveal the location of a reputable company in your area.

The dangers with welding are many, and all apprentices are fully briefed on safety procedures before they start to weld. If the guidelines are followed, welding is safe, and the people who work in this environment should wear appropriate clothing and protective headwear at all times.


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