a welder working on a piece of metalEver since men learned to harness fire, it has become an invaluable tool. From cooking meals to lighting the way, fire is as useful as it is captivating. Welding allows for two pieces of metal to be joined together by heating them up to their melting point. And where intense heat is involved, precaution must be taken.

Problems can arise when people—even trained professionals—play with fire. Welding equipment suppliers advise that proper safety precautions be taken before even purchasing a torch or tank.

Suit Up

Protective gear is a must when it comes to welding. As far as your eyes are concerned, they are the most exposed to the torch. They are prone not only to incoming sparks or debris but also to the harsh ultraviolet glare produced by the torch’s flame. This is why the most basic safety gear any welder can own is a pair of welding glasses.

The glasses must be tinted to protect the eyes from the brightness and also be durable enough to withstand debris and other obstructions. A face shield or helmet can also be used to ensure further protection.

Gloves are another resource that a welder must have at his or her disposal. Heatproof welding gloves allow a welder to handle a torch easily without exposure to the harsh burns caused by it. A welder’s gloves must be heavy duty and must at least cover the forearms.

Inspection before Ignition

Before lighting up that torch, any responsible welder must first check his or her equipment. Check the fuel tank for any leaks or punctures. Do not also forget to inspect the tank’s connection to the torch. Inspect the torch and the electrode holder for any damage to prevent shock or electrocution.

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It is also important to inspect your surroundings before welding. Be sure that no flammable materials or fire hazards are in your immediate vicinity and always have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Being a responsible welder means being a safe welder. These tips can keep both you and those around you out of harm’s way.