By Craig Guillot
Most welders are already well aware of the dangers they can face on the job. Heat, sparks, flying
particles, noxious gases, and moving metal can all
present a risk of injury. As one of the most important
and sensitive organs in the human body, the eyes
are especially susceptible to injury. And although
eye-related injuries represent one of the most common accidents on the job, experts say they are also
the most easily prevented.
Having knowledge of the risks and using the
proper personal protective equipment can go a long
way in preventing injury.
SEEING THE DANGERS
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more
than 20,000 workplace eye injuries occur each year,
costing hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity, medical treatment, and workers’ compensation. Welders have a total incidence injury rate of
163 per 10,000 workers and a high rate of injuries
caused by heat and exposure to harmful substances.
A study by Liberty Mutual Research Institute for
Safety found that roughly one-quarter of all welding
injuries involve the eyes.
Figure 1. Autodarkening welding
helmets have proven to be one
of the most important technology
advancements as it relates to
keeping welders’ eyes safe. The
lens is automatically darkened to
the shade necessary to protect
the eyes when the arc is struck,
allowing the welder to focus on
the weld, not flipping the hood