Safety Tips: MIG Welding

MIG welding is a very popular form of welding. Welders can be easily trained to produce quality welds that are both fast and inexpensive. Like all welding, steps must be taken to ensure the safety of workers and people passing by. Follow these easy steps to avoid injury in the workplace.

Proper Clothingwelding gloves

The proper clothing can avoid injuries to one’s self while welding. Do not have any skin exposed while welding. Flame-resistant clothing and gear are highly recommended. This includes, welding aprons, jackets, headgear, and MIG gloves. Companies are focusing on making safety gear more comfortable and lightweight for welders, so there should be no excuse to not follow the necessary safety protocol.

When purchasing gloves for MIG welding, it is important to choose the right type. The materials and designs used for MIG gloves are not the same as TIG or work gloves. Always ask for assistance if you are not certain of which gloves to purchase for your application! Remember, always use pliers when picking up just-welded materials.

Eyewear and Headgear

The light produced from MIG welding is extremely bright and can cause “arc eye”, a painful condition where the cornea has been burned from the arc flash. This condition can be caused from looking at the flash for even a short amount of time. This condition may not appear until several hours after having been exposed to the flash. For this reason, it is vital that welders use the proper eye wear.

While in the work space, employees should always wear safety glasses with the necessary side shields, even when wearing a helmet. Industrial grade helmets react to light in a fraction of a second. The typical time is between 1/10,000 and 1/20,000 of a second. Proper welding helmets should have adjustable shade settings from #9 to #13. OSHA provides a good guide for choosing the correct lense shade based on the application which you can find here.

Auto-darkening helmets have become increasingly popular due to its advance features. These helmets decrease repetitive stress injuries since it is much lighter and gets rid of the need to snap the hood down. When purchasing an auto-darkening helmet, ensure that the reaction speeds are up to industrial grade standards.

With helmets, you get what you paid for! Lower-end helmets tend to react slower in colder climates. This means it may not be darkening quickly enough. Higher-end helmets are often rated for use under 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Clutter-Free Work AreaWelding sparks

The sparks from an arc weld can fly several feet from the welding area. It is essential to have a clean and clutter-free work environment. There should be absolutely no flammable objects in the area – check your pockets for lighters!

Ensure there is no plastic, sawdust, or paper near your work station as they go up in flames quickly. We recommend always having a fire extinguisher besides work stations, preferably CO2 based. The surrounding work area should only have the essential tools and equipment beside it.

If you are working in an area with foot-traffic, please take the proper safety measures for those around the area. A blanket or curtain that protects from the arc flash and flying sparks.

Breathing Air

Fume and smoke emitted during the welding process can cause serious health complications. It is important to weld in a well-ventilated area to ensure there is clean breathing air in the environment. Toxic fumes from shielding gases can accumulate in smaller, confined spaces displacing breathing air. The toxic fumes produced by certain materials can cause metal poisoning and the effects are cumulative,  continuously building up in your body. It is important to use a fume exhaust in areas with a high cncentration of welding.

Certain materials may require additional equipment, like respirators. You should always consult the manufacturer’s safety data sheets (SDS) when welding with new materials. You can find manufacturer’s SDS here on our website.

Safety Firstpatriotic welding helmet

Many companies in the area are focusing on safety in the workplace. It has become a priority for employers and their dedicated workforce. Noble Gas Solutions has a wide range of safety gear and equipment available for purchase or rent. Our Team can assist in guaranteeing the right safety equipment for the job! Safety is our priority.

Need to order safety items? Contact us for assistance and our Customer Service Team will be happy to help!