Eye injury is the most common injury experienced by welders. With many welders not formally trained for the job or having a bare minimum technical knowledge, many are unaware of the hazards. While most welding related injuries can be treated, there are some injuries which can permanently impair the eye. While there are many brands of professional welding helmets online and in stores, only some satisfy the ANSI quality standards. Moreover, protection of the eye goes beyond helmets, and there are other safety shields listed in www.lincolnelectric.com which give complete protection while welding.
The reason behind welders sustaining eye injuries is due to lack of awareness of safety glasses. The reasons for sustaining eye injury can be many; mainly it can be
● Flying particles or small slag while welding may damage the eye
● Damage due to UV and infrared radiation
● Burning sensation in the eye due to chemicals.
To prevent eye injuries, there are a few types of eye protective wear recommended.
Goggles: If you are working in an environment where there are chemical splashes and high impact welding light. Goggles should have protection at the sides against splashes and should have good airflow and fog.
Safety Glasses: This is suitable if you are working in a place where you are exposed to dust and flying particles. Like goggles, these safety glasses should not fog and should have protection even at the sides. Foam or rubber around the lens gives added protection to your eyes by keeping the particles out.
Full face respirators: This is best for places where it is smoky and is dusty. This eye protector needs prescription inserts that are compatible with a respirator.
Faceshields: This gear helps workers who work in chemically dangerous places. Using a tinted face shield will protect from heat. The drawback of this is that safety glasses or goggles have to be worn below this face shield.
Apart from goggles and glasses, type of helmet best suited for the job in hand is necessary. There are tables published which define the appropriate lens shade and welding unit amp based on the welding job. A welding helmet has to be maintained properly to get complete protection against radiation. It is a myth that a darker shade provides enhanced protection against UV.
Helmets come in variable or fixed shades. If you are performing welding of the same type, fixed shade will suffice. But variable shades work best for welders with different welding tasks. The best helmet for a job is one whose lens shade is comfortable to view the puddle to ensure accurate and quality welding.
Consider the following things for complete eye protection
● The work location where the welding is done has to be free of tripping hazards, the vision of the welders is limited with the helmet down.
● Keep protective gear in good condition.
● Wear clothing and glove that can protect you from radiation
● In the case of any injury seek medical help immediately, this action can prevent from permanently damaging your eyes.
By using proper protective gear and taking precautionary measures, welders can prevent eye injuries.