A good pair of gloves and a welder’s jacket may seem like obvious additions to your supply list. Safety gear, for any construction task, need to be taken seriously and it’s not just about what’s on there, but what specifically needs to be on there. You cannot go cheap or look for products that are just going to get you through one project or two. If you plan on doing this for a career or even a hobby, you need to make sure that you are investing time and money into quality gear that will last and provide real protection.
You never take shortcuts when selecting tools, so why would you take shortcuts on safety gear? It doesn’t make sense and it’s one of the reasons people can and have gotten hurt. They do not adhere to safety recommendations and unfortunately, it happens more often with experienced welders than amateurs or beginners. We all do it, as our experience grows in something we start skipping important steps. Fundamentals are essential to ensuring quality work and it starts with having the right tools.
Welders Safety Gear Checklist
- Welders Jacket: The best options are made of leather which offers protection for heat up to 450 degrees and still allows for full mobility to complete the project. Flexibility can also be essential in eliminating mistakes, another reason the right type of gear is important.
- Gloves: You cannot get any task done in welding without quality gloves. These also should be made of leather or cowhide to ensure a thickness that is strong enough to protect you but also flexible enough to complete the task. When researching options make sure that you select ones that are the right size for you. Too small and you will not feel comfortable, too large and you will lose the ability to grip and hold things.
- Helmet: While most options for helmets will offer plenty of protection, you must research ventilation options, especially if you are working with toxic materials. This is rarely discussed in lists of safety gear but if you are working in an area where there are materials that give off dangerous chemical smells, you want to make sure that you’re able to breathe cleanly while working in your shop or even outside.
- Glasses: Many overlook the need for safety glasses as they think their eyes will be protected from wearing the helmet. Yes, a helmet will protect your eyes, but it also may not be enough or there may be cases when you do not need a helmet because it’s a smaller project. Safety glasses are always important, and many manufacturers will recommend that you wear them as well.
- Apron: While it’s important to have a welder’s jacket, you also need to have an apron on while you are working. You must remember that there’s extreme heat being generated from your tools and that you are around the hot and often sharp metal. You cannot overlook this as it leads to a lot of injuries in the field. The apron not only provides an extra layer of protection for your upper body but will protect your legs and midsection as well. That’s important as a simple pair of jeans is not enough to protect against this extreme heat.
Gloves, jackets, helmets, and aprons are just the start of what you need to ensure a safe workshop. Make sure that you have essential items around the shop that are in plain sight and easy to access. This includes a fire extinguisher and an eyewash station as well.
Remember, one of the most common mistakes people make in the workshop is that they do not create a list of essential gear and materials needed for safety. Think of this as part of your regular tool list, you cannot do the work without them and suddenly you will see why they are so important.
Shortcuts Cause Delays
Any professional will tell you that you will get faster with the job as you gain more experience. However, it’s important to remember that shortcuts, especially when it comes to safety, do not work and oftentimes lead to mistakes that are going to just cause delays. An injury will lead to the biggest delays, but even small mistakes will create issues that keep projects from getting completed on time and budget.
If you think of your last project, what caused the majority of delays? Was it faulty equipment, not having the right materials, simple mistakes that could have been avoided, and even minor injuries? These are things that happen when we get started on a project without taking the important steps needed to complete the task safely and correctly. As you look at what other tools and materials you need for the task, think more about safety and doing things the right way, rather than the fastest.
At DC Glove and Safety we understand that you want to complete the task correctly, but we focus on the essential need to make safety the top priority. You may have heard this before but keep in mind, the most successful professionals and hobbyists in any capacity are the ones who follow the fundamentals and do the work the right way, each time. Shortcuts can destroy a project and you are not going to get where you want to be with shortcuts. So, whether it’s a fire extinguisher, welder’s jacket, or something else, make sure you have what you need and that you are ready to get to work.
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