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Thread: Personal Protective Equipment

  1. #1

    Post Personal Protective Equipment

    Cheating on safety has been something that everyone is guilty of. Sure, I have just closed my eyes to make a quick spot weld or forgotten to use my safety glasses behind my helmet. But I have been lucky.

    PPE seems to be more hassle than its worth until you need it. The other day, I had just installed a new grinding wheel on a grinder when it detonated. I was thankful that not only did I have my safety glasses on, but also had a grinding shield. Until recently, I did not wear a grinding shield as a general rule, thinking that a pair of safety glasses was enough. The exploded pieces hit various parts of my body and I was glad that I had all the "required" PPE on that I needed, including sleeves, gloves, shield and glasses.

    Many times, we tend to under-evaluate the need for PPE, seeing no immediate harm to our bodies. Sure, its cooler to take off that welding jacket. But when we do, we're exposing our skin to radiation that is many times stronger than the Sun. This type of radiation has the same cancerous effects on our body that the Sun does and we think little about it.

    Its easy to spot a weld with out donning a hood or flipping it down while we hold a piece in place with our other hand. But the radiation is still there. While, one flash probably won't blind you, its the cumulative effect that leads to eye issues.

    Hearing protection is a touchy subject among welders too. Certainly, the clang of hammering or the whine of grinding can have long term effects on hearing. But there are other sounds that can injure the ears. Mig welding and stick welding typically produce sounds that are in the harmful decibel range. While its important to be able to hear whats going on around you, its definitely important to stay protected from the din of the work environment. Selecting the right hearing protection is important so that you can remain aware of what is going on around you.

    Anyone that has picked up a hot piece of metal that was thought to be cool with their bare hands can tell you about the importance of gloves. Never assume a piece of metal is cool, especially when working with Stainless. Always keep an extra pair near by.

    Respiratory/ventilation equipment is important to the welder as well. Open spaces are not generally a major concern, but know the material you are working with and the hazards of the fumes that you are breathing. Enclosed, or tight spaces will require either a respirator or fume evacuation system. Prepare and plan for the type of work you will be doing, whether its in the garage, or in the field making a repair.

    Hard hats, steel toes and other safety equipment may be required by the work place, OSHA or just by plain common sense. Don't try to cheat it. Just do it. Sweat it out and make it happen. Your life, limbs, vision, and hearing depend upon it. Carry it around with you in a convenient knapsack or duffle bag if its too much to tote under the arm.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Orlando, Florida


    A very good reminder as we all are guilty of cutting corners and at times pay a price.

  3. #3


    Anybody know if those harbor freight welding helmets are any good for protecting your eyes? I am new to this, but I do notice the couple times I spent hours in the shop welding it really seams to drain my eyes. I think even my brain seams a little fried after a couple hours of welding. Maybe I am being paranoid about this. Never can be too safe I dont think. Some day I will break down and buy a good helmet. Just dont have the money. The helmets I got from harbor freight say they are ansi approved. Any advice on this would be good.


    I have a 250 EX welder and several other machines and equipment to allow for small scale manufacturing and prototyping of inventions

    I am located in Oregon about 20 minutes west of Portland

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Springfield, Illinois


    Have you tried adjusting the delay switch?? (Harbor Freight was my first job ever)
    Completed Midwest Technical Institute 40 week welding/pipefitting school!!
    Attending Lincoln Land Community College - Degree in Computer Programming

  5. #5


    I dont recall there being a delay stwitch on it. I thought the numbering on the side was adjustment for the darkness? Is there another adjustment on there that I dont know about? Its just the basic black autodarkening.

    I have a 250 EX welder and several other machines and equipment to allow for small scale manufacturing and prototyping of inventions

    I am located in Oregon about 20 minutes west of Portland

  6. #6


    in the inside there is a sensitivy and delay setting. I set my to fast and sensitive and for mig welding found it worked pretty good. Hopefluy come 4/10 and can report back how it work for TIG and STICK welding
    sold my miller mig
    got a PT250EX
    saving up for a plasma cutter

  7. #7


    I'll be the first to admit I'm guilty of not always being same. I don't always wear gloves although I'm getting better at it. sometimes I'll just have to grind that one little spot and not put on my face shield first. It only takes one little accident to really screw up your life.

    Just recently, I have had a 4.5 inch cutting wheels come apart because the work piece shifted and was hit in the plastic face shield. I'm DAMN GLAD I was wearing it.
    Everlast lx225
    Hobart Handler 210 with spool gun
    Hobart Stickmate LX
    Thermal Arc 400GMS
    40 amp Northern Tools plasma torch
    130 chicago electric tig welder
    90 amp chicago electric flux mig
    10"-22" Grizzly lathe
    15"-5.5" Grizzly vertical end mill

    In need of nice TIG machine. drooling over PowerTig 250ex

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Sasktachewan, Canada


    A good reminder. I survived my near misses without a serious loss but the lesson was NEVER forgotten. Not a recommended way to learn. I am very thankful my son is very good about wearing PPE. As I insist on it for both of us. We have to walk the talk.

    I run a lot of air through my shop when welding but I know it was never as effective as I would have liked. Unfortunately filters do not fit under a helmet. I stumbled upon extensions for my mask so the filters are resting on my back. I wouldn't be surprised they have been out there for years. Just didn't know about them. With those filters, ear plugs, safety glasses and my helmet I feel like iron man. Like seat belts or MC helmet. I feel dangerously exposed if I don't have them on.

    Attachment 1754

    Performance your story has hit home. My grinder has had the guard gone for over twenty years. (that Makita is a tank!) The penalty for failure is too high! Time to stop putting it off, find/buy and install the guard.
    Attitude Determines Altitude

  9. #9


    I'm guilty of the PPE omission on occasion. sometimes I just don't have alot of time and want to get something done. just a month or so ago I was going to go swimming and went into the garage to get the skimmer. wearing nothing but flip flops, swim trunks and welding helmet I tig'd together the frame for a table I'm building.... four one inch welds and my entire chest was burnt...

    it's not worth it.
    Everlast Powertig 225LX
    Harbor Freight O/A rig
    60 gal air compressor

  10. #10


    I have usded HF's welding helmets for years without any problems as long as I set the auto at high speed and the the numbers high enough to protect my eyes it does fine.

  11. #11


    Never under estimate the effects of the UV rays emitted from welding. If I'm not properly protected I burn quite fast. Then for a day or two I can smell a burnt skin smell.
    Power tig 225lx
    Hand tools up the wazoo.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Washington State


    Feel kind of funny posting a reply to a thread created 2 and half years ago but I'm a bit paranoid about PPE as I'm just starting out learning the ropes with stick welding. I've got a auto-darkening helmet, leather gloves, leather sleeves that go up to about my elbows and leather apron. I'm thinking about attaching a leather strip that will hang down from the chin of my helmet to help cover the neck area that the apron doesn't. Should I be concerned about my arms from the elbows to my shoulders? I won't wear sleeveless by do I need to have heavy material for that part of my arm (for lowish amperage welding)?

    I also wear ear protection as I'm almost always grinding too.
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

    Everlast PowerTIG 185 Micro IGBT AC/DC Welder

  13. #13


    My post is going to be simple af

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