Welding fumes can be deadly. If welders are welding in a well ventilated workshop, arc welding mild steel in an outside area, or with the correct PPE, then there is no problem.
But when welding more out-of-the-ordinary materials fabricators and co-workers should take extra care.
Welders should take extra precaution when working with exotic materials such as cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorides, manganese, nickel, silica, zinc and even stainless steel.
Chromium poses a cancer risk while silica can cause silicosis and zinc, found in galvanising, could cause fume fever.
A welding helmet could be the most important piece of personal safety equipment a welder can have. The latest helmets have considerably advanced and provide more functionality than those of even 10 or 15 years ago.
Even the basic helmet must satisfy strict safety standards that tackles issues like light leakage and flame, impact resistance, and in some cases ventilation or fume protection.
A good helmet will not only shield the eyes and skin from dangerous sparks but also from ultraviolet and infrared rays emitted by the arc that could damage vision.
Welders may need to wear protective helmets all day so it is imperative they choose the right helmet that combines protective features with comfort considerations.
The right helmet will have flexible adjustments and protect the wearer’s eyes and face from spatter, sparks and harmful light rays.