the helmet and the face to allow for good airflow.
Many helmets also offer controls that allow the
welder to adjust the shade based on light sensitivi-ties and personal preferences.
Hedrick said for all types of electric arc processes,
welding helmets should comply with ANSI Z87.1
and be equipped with the correct filter shade that
aligns with the welding process being performed
and the arc current being used. Shades range from
a minimum protection of 4 for plasma arc cutting to
11 for SMAW at 250 amps. For clarity on PPE, welders can refer to the “OSHA Eye and Face Protector
Selection Guide” and the “Eyewear Applications
TO EYE SAFETY
Welders need to ensure they’re not only using the
right protective gear, but that it is well-maintained
and functions properly. Rachel Bishop, MD, MPH,
chief of the Consult Services Section at the National
Eye Institute, explained that welders should regularly inspect their protective masks and eyewear and
replace parts as needed. Even small scratches in the
lens could allow the welder’s eyes to be exposed to
UV rays. “The equipment works in blocking UV light
but only if it is not scratched or damaged, so the
lens needs to be regularly inspected,” Bishop said.
It’s important for nonwelders to be protected too
when in the presence of welding. This may call for
protective screens, curtains, or even fume hoods to
displace hazardous gases.
Welders and their employers need to engage
in continuous eye safety training and awareness
and understand basic emergency eye care. The
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says
that serious eye injuries are not always immediately
obvious, and that delaying medical attention can
cause the damaged areas to worsen and even result
in permanent vision loss. AAO advises workers not
to rub away particles or foreign matter from their
eyes. Instead, they should lift the upper eyelid over
the lashes of the lower lid or blink several times and
allow the tears to flush out the particle.
Bishop said it’s important never to try to remove
anything that punctures the eye no matter how
painful. “You never want to pull anything out of
your eyes because it may cause the wound to open
and basically empty the eye contents. If you think
something is stuck in your eye, don’t touch it and
immediately see a doctor,” Bishop said.
Craig Guillot, a freelance writer, can be reached at
Bevel up to 13/16”
Machines weld beads flush
to work piece.
Precision finish chamfers.
Up to 10
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