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Welding Clothing Tips to Keep Safe from 5 Welding Hazards

welding hazard

Safety is always a priority for welders. According to Occupational Health and Safety, there are five potential welding safety hazards to avoid – electric shock, fumes and gases, fire and explosions, injuries from insufficient PPE, and other safety considerations. Here we give you some welding clothing tips, what to wear and what not to wear to protect yourself from these welding hazards and avoid them while at work.


Welding Clothing tips to keep safe from the 5 Welding Safety Hazards

Electric Shock

Electric shock happens when a welder touches two metal objects that have a voltage between them. For example, if a welder holds a wire in one hand and a second wire with another. Electric current will pass through the wire and then through the welder which can then cause an electric shock. 


Secondary voltage shock which ranges from 20-100 volts is the most common type of electric shock. Fifty (50) volts or less can be enough to cause death. 


Among all the safety hazards, electric shock is one of the most threatening of them all. This can lead to severe injury or even death. This can either be caused by the shock itself or from the fall as a reaction to the shock. 


Welding clothing tips to avoid electric shock: 

To protect oneself from electric shock, wear rubber boots and rubber pads, especially when working in wet or humid conditions. Make sure your hands are dry during a welding operation. Wear rubber gloves under the welding gloves to get maximum protection. Also, use an insulation mat under the operator. 


welder working

Fumes and Gases

Exposure to fumes and gases is hazardous the health. As a welder, you get exposed to these every day. These fumes contain harmful metal oxide compounds from base metal, consumables, and base metal coatings. 


It’s very important that you keep your head out of these fumes and have enough ventilation so you can control your exposure to them.


Welding clothing tips avoid fumes and gases: 

Position your face as far as possible from the fumes while at work. Also, wear an approved respirator to make sure you don’t exceed the OSHA permissible exposure limits to these fumes. Another tip would be to remove any coating of paint from the metal you’re welding to avoid the production of other toxic gases. 


welder working

Fire and Explosions

A welding arc produces extreme temperatures that can reach 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit which becomes a fire explosion hazard. The arch itself isn’t the real danger. It’s the heat near the arc and the sparks and spatters created by it. These sparks can reach up to 35 feet away from a welding space and can reach flammable materials around or clothing that are not flame resistant which can then cause fires and explosions. 


Welding clothing tips to avoid fire and explosions:

Before welding, remove any flammable materials from the area or put a flame-retardant blanket or welding blanket over flammable materials to be extra safe. These could either be liquid (gasoline and oil), solid (wood, paper, cardboard), or gas (acetylene, hydrogen, propane). Make sure to use Flame Retardant or FR clothing. These include your FR welding jacket, FR welding pants, FR welding shirts, and other welding protective clothing like leather welding aprons, welding spats, welding hoods, and welding sleeves that give extra protection from welding sparks and splatters. 


Injuries/burns from Insufficient PPE

The most common injury welders get while at work are welding burns. This happens when welding operators have insufficient personal protective equipment while working. 


Welding clothing tips to avoid injuries/burns:

The right welding PPE allows adequate movement and comfort while also providing protection from welding hazards. Choose leather and flame retardant-treated cotton welding clothing. These are the best if you’re looking for durability and fire resistance properties. 


In wearing welding PPE, avoid rolling up your sleeves or pant cuffs and keep your welding pants over work boots to avoid any deposit of sparks or hot metal. Wear a helmet and wear safety glasses to prevent sparks from hitting the eyes. Use leather boots that give ankle coverage or wear leather welding spats to get foot protection. 


Use flame-retardant gloves to protect your hands from burns and scratches or other injuries you get from electric shocks. Use helmets with shields to protect the eyes and skin from exposure to arc rays. To protect your ears from noise, wear earmuffs or hearing protection to protect your hearing from any damage. This would also prevent metal or any other debris from entering the ear canal. 


welder working

Other Safety considerations within the work environment

Never underestimate other safety considerations within the work environment like working in a confined space or in an elevated area, paying attention to safety data sheets by the manufacturer or safety information on products used, and knowing the proper safety practices in the workplace. 

While complete welding PPE from head to toe is a must for protection, common sense in the workplace is also key. Remove clutter or debris, keep hands away from sharp edges, and follow simple safe practices and tips that can go a long way and minimize any workplace injuries.

3 Powerful Tips for Welding Safety

welding safety
  • Wear Welding Clothing and Protective Equipment
  • Hierarchy of Controls, Safety Pyramid for welders
  • Avoid the Top 4 Common Welding Safety hazards

Welding is very much a challenging yet rewarding job. It’s a craft that has been there since the Bronze age some 2000 years B.C. and will continue to be a growing field in the years to come. In fact, the U.S. will need some 372,664 welding professionals by 2026 so starting a career in welding is actually always a great idea. While welding is indeed a great career, it also comes with risks and that’s why here, we give you 3 powerful tips for welding safety. Whether you’ve been in the field for several years now or just new to the craft, these tips might just save your life. 

There isn’t any other way to stress how important safety is when it comes to welding. One can never be too careful. But just to state some facts, Liggett Law Groups states that 500,000 welders are injured in accidents per year. This number can be very concerning but just proves that safety is always a top priority in the field and that accidents can happen anytime. 

3 Power Tips for Welding Safety that can Save Your Life

Wear Welding Clothing and Protective Equipment

Welding Clothing and Protective Equipment were made for a crucial part of welding safety. Being a welder means being exposed to hazards like fumes and gases, extreme heat, electric shock, and fire and explosion. Not only that, materials and energy released in welding can cause serious burns, blindness, and respiratory damage in some cases. 

A welder must always dress for the occasion whatever the job is. This means a welder should always come to work with a welding helmet, welding gloves, welding jackets, welding boots, and respirators. For a list of protective clothing and equipment, read our blog on “Welding Clothing and Protective Equipment.” To get to know more about welding leathers for maximum protection read, “Leather Welding Clothing and Accessories every Welder Must Have.”

welding safety

Take note of the Safety Pyramid for welders, Hierarchy of Controls

There is a Safety Pyramid welders should be familiar with. If this is your first time hearing or reading about, then make sure you remember this. NIOSH has this pyramid called the Hierarchy of Controls which has a list all welders should know to minimize danger when welding or doing any manual work. This is listed in five categories. 


This is basically what it literally means. Elimination means removing any hazard from your workspace as briefly discussed. The important thing is to make it a habit.


Substitution, in this case, would mean to change whatever equipment, tool, or project you have to remove any hazard. For example, using a less reactive material for a certain job. 

Engineering Controls

This means isolating people from hazards. It’s bad enough that you have unwanted objects around. Make sure people are away from your workspace and have a safe distance all the time. 

Administrative Controls

What this means is that one should have a set of rules and should change workflow to improve safety. If a system doesn’t work, it has to change. If the rules aren’t really being followed, there has to be something done about it. 


As mentioned, Personal Protective equipment is always a must and should never be removed anytime while on the job. 

Avoid the Top 4 Common Welding Safety Hazards

While there is so much to look out for while welding, here are the top 4 common welding safety hazards and how to avoid and control them. 

Fumes and Gases

Overexposure to welding fumes and gases can cause health problems like cancer, respiratory illnesses, and some impaired speech and movement. This can be controlled by working in a place where there is adequate ventilation and exhaust to keep the fumes and gases away from the breathing zone. An approved respirator can also help. 

Physical Hazards

Physical Hazards are always present anytime on the job. These can cause cuts, burns, eye damage, or damage to the toes or fingers. With welding clothing and protective equipment, these can be avoided. 

Electric Shock

As a welder, you are always exposed to electricity and the possibility of electrocution. This can cause not only serious injury but also death. This can be minimized by inspecting your electric holder and welding equipment all the time before starting any job. A lockout and tag out procedure during repairs done by qualified repair technicians can also ensure that nothing malfunctions. 

Fire and Explosion

While electrocution can be a serious hazard, you also deal with fire and explosion. This is due to flammable materials that may be around the working area. This can be prevented by always making sure your workplace is clutter-free and that you make it a habit to remove anything around before you start working. Make sure you have a Class ABC fire extinguisher while welding and that the gauge is full. If there are flammable materials around, use a welding blanket to cover them just to make sure.