Welding is dangerous work due to the intense light and heat that you're exposed to. Burns are common injuries that result from sparks landing on your skin or in the seams of your clothing. It's necessary to wear personal protection equipment when you weld to prevent serious injury or blindness. Protecting your eyes is important because the bright light produced from welding is enough to cause eye damage. Here is some equipment you'll be required to wear to protect your eyes during training and during your career.
Safety goggles shield your eyes from flying debris. When you weld, tiny bits of metal debris fly through the air and bounce off other objects at high speed. Their trajectories are unpredictable, and you never know when hot debris will fly toward your eyes. That's why goggles are required when you weld. However, goggles alone won't offer full protection with certain types of welding, such as arc and plasma welding.
In those cases, goggles are worn under a welding helmet that protects against light and heat. The goggles are an added safety measure against debris that flies underneath the helmet. Goggles might be used alone with other types of welding that produce lower-intensity light. These welding goggles must wrap around the sides of your face, be non-ventilated, and have shade filters that protect your eyes from radiation.
A welding helmet is one of the most important pieces of personal protection equipment you wear when welding. It protects your entire head, face, eyes, and ears from burns, radiation exposure, and flying debris. The helmet is made from a tough plastic material, so it is lightweight yet protects the helmet from cracking. The plastic blocks radiation from reaching your skin and eyes. The helmet slips over your head and offers protection to part of your neck as well so flying debris has a hard time getting under it.
The front of the helmet has a lens window that allows you to see what you're working on. The lenses come in different shades of darkness and provide different levels of protection. The darker the lens, the more protected you are against eye damage from the intense light of an arc welder. The lens is constructed with several safety features built in that protect it from cracking while you work, and if a crack occurs, there is a safety feature that keeps the broken pieces from flying into your eyes. For the best protection, a welding helmet must be worn correctly and fit properly.
Goggles and helmets are just two personal protection pieces you'll need when you work as a welder. You'll also need protection for the rest of your body in the form of clothing and shoes, You'll need to maintain your equipment properly so it always functions as it should and protects you against radiation and burns.