5 Ways to Keep Safe while Welding

The dangers of welding are universal across the trade - whether you work for yourself or a multi-million pound company. Here are 5 tips to improve your safety while welding including advice that also improves productivity.


1. Read the Manual

A welder's operating manual contains important safety guidelines, as well as information regarding procedures that help maximise the machine's capabilities. Make sure everyone who operates the machine is familiar with it's contents. If the manual becomes lost or damaged, contact the manufacturer for a replacement. Many manufacturers provide manuals online to download and print.

2. Cover up

Any exposed skin is at risk to the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays, infrared rays, the welding arc, spatter, sparks and heat. Sparks can catch in open pockets, trouser cuffs or down a shirt that isn't fully buttoned. Make sure all exposed areas are covered and protected from all the potential dangers. Ensure your personal protective equipment (PPE) including face and eye protection is CE approved to the standard required for maximum protection.

3. Breathe Clean Air

Fumes and smoke produced during welding pose a serious health hazard. When welding in confined spaces, toxic fumes can build up, or shielding gasses may replace breathable air. Fume extraction at source or fixed fume extraction equipment is needed to remove fumes from the area and ensure enough clean air is available. Some materials specifically require respirators when welding, and you should consult the manufacturer's safety data sheet, your welding engineer or industrial safety specialist for correct procedures.

4. Avoid seeing the Light

It only takes a moment of exposure to a welding arc's rays for unprotected eyes to experience "arc eye", a painful condition that may not appear until hours after the exposure. Welding Helmets should be fitted with a proper filter shade to protect the operator's face and eyes when welding or watching. Approved safety glasses and ear protection should also be worn under the helmet. Install welding screens where appropriate to protect others from the hazards of the arc.

5. Auto-Darkening Helmets

The sensors on an auto-darkening helmet darken the lens in a fraction of a second. All auto-darkening helmets should meet EN 175B and EN 379 standards. ADF helmets react at speeds of 1/10,000th to 1/20,000th of a second and have adjustable shade settings from shade 9 to 13 for welding. ADF helmets also have adjustable sensitivity (useful for low amperage welding) and delay controls to adjust how long the lens stays dark after the arc stops.

Ultimate Extraction for new EEF Technology Training Centre

While our sister company Weldability-Sif was busy decking out the 16 welding bays at the new EEF TTC on The Aston Training Campus in Birmingham, we were installing a brand new extraction system to keep their students and teachers safe.

Welding can be a dangerous game. Electric shock, fires and injury from insufficient PPE are all a major risk to any welder. Perhaps a less obvious risk, however, is from exposure to welding fume which can cause a myriad of health issues. Not only is it vital that we promise to protect future welders if we hope to close the UK skills gap, but to be able to work and learn in a clean and risk free environment is a right that should extend to everybody.

The UK Skills gap costs businesses £2 billion a year as they labour to find suitable employees. An astounding 90% of employers have reported struggling to recruit employees in the last year. It is taking companies on average 2 months longer to fill a vacancy and costing them millions as they hike salaries in order to attract applicants. Many are opting to provide on-the-job training because they cannot find recruits with the required skillsets. Skills training centres such as those being provided by EEF and Weldability-Sif are increasingly important for closing the gap



We kitted EEF out with our ProtectoCube which is a filter unit equipped with filter cartridges applicable for nearly every task in the area of fume and dust filtration. The polluted air is extracted by means of the ventilator and guided towards the filtering section. The toxic particles are deposited on the surface of the filter cartridges. The cartridges are cleaned automatically by compressed air. The particles deposited on the cartridge are detached by the compressed air blast and reach a dust collecting tank. The cleaned air is recycled to the working space without any heat loss.