Welding Eye Protection: The Details You Need To Know
Last Updated: March 27, 2022 by Louis Sham
Protect your eyes with high-impact welding helmets.
Eye injuries are the most common injuries in all welding related injuries. According to research one-quarter of welders suffer eye injuries due to welding.
Yeah! That’s indeed a big number.
Usually workers from Industrial, commercial, fabricating industry and computer equipment workers are at risk. These injuries can be avoided easily if you have clear information about how to avoid flash burns from welding. Besides other tactics using proper welding helmet is the top of the list solution to the problem.
No doubt Welding helmets are the best thing to protect you from an eye injury. The welders all around the globe use helmets to protect their eyes.
What are welding helmets?
These helmets are of two types.
Some welders prefer using a full-face helmet and many ends up using a half-faced one.
Each different style has certain pros and cons. These protecting buddies are good to save you from eye damage. They are super comfortable too.
Stick to the rest of the article to find the best welding helmet to protect your eyes.
How to select a high-quality helmet for your safety?
Well, there’s a long debate on selecting the best helmet for a welder. Selecting a top-notch product for your safety should be your prime concern rather than focusing on the welding process.
Here, are the things you can’t skip while selecting any welding helmet.
Safety is a prime concern of a welder. The quality personal protective equipment can make you worry less and focus on your work more.
Welding helmets should be good enough to give you security and compliance. The general standards ensure the welders from any eye damage by a quality lens.
It includes ultraviolet and infrared filtering regardless of shade-setting. Remember, safety comes first.
A good weld starts with a good helmet
Welding helmets come in two styles.
- Variable shade auto darkening helmet
So what’s the difference?
A passive helmet features a dark tinted lens with shade#10. it is called passive because when you keep the helmet in the downward position, you can easily see through its lens. This shade doesn’t switch from a light to a dark shade. It remains dark. You need to remove the helmet when you need to inspect any weld.
These helmets are lightweight. The cons of having them are you can’t select your desired shade levels. Since you are unable to select your shade, it’s difficult to wear them in certain welding jobs.
Auto-darkening helmets are the talk of the town these days. These helmets allow you to select your desired shade preferences. These helmets are a personal favorite from a hobbyist to a professional.
They allow you to adjust the shade based on different applications or requirements. Typically they range between, shade #8 to #13.
Via light lens, you can easily view the surrounding when the variable shade helmet is in the downward position. This is how you will have better visibility so that you can easily evaluate the welding area carefully.
Once the helmet is arced, it will darken to your desired shade without any human interruption.
Welding Helmet Categories
Many of us don’t know the categories of helmets. they fall into two major categories. These are,
- Full face welding helmets
- Half face welding helmets.
Well, selecting any of these helmets is your own choice. Both of them have a few pros and cons.
Let’s have a look.
Full face welding helmet
These helmets offer great protection against ultraviolet rays, flying particles, and sparks.
They are designed to cover your head. This helmet leaves your eyes exposed for better visibility. Full face welding helmets are the best choice for professional welders who spent most of their time welding.
These masks are heavier as compared to the half masks. Also, they are a bit pricey. Their heavy price tag won’t make it a good option for hobbyists.
Half mask helmets
Half mask helmets are less in weight too.
They give you comparatively better peripheral vision than the full face masks. You can easily see without the hassle of turning your face.
Half masks don’t give you maximum protection against flying particles, ultraviolet rays, or sparks.
But, you are still exposed to the spark despite wearing a mask. This con makes these masks a bit unsafe as compared to the full-face ones.
Which welding helmet is better, full face or half face?
Selecting the right mask depends on the task you have decided to do. If your job is to do welding and just welding then go for a full face mask. Because they provide full coverage and excellent visibility.
However, if you are a hobbyist performing welding for a few projects, then a half mask is the more appropriate choice.
Consider these factors carefully before you choose your welding mask.
These are a few factors you can’t ignore when you plan to invest in welding helmets.
- How often do you do the welding?
- Is your major concern is to protect from sparks, UV rays, or flying particles?
- Are you able to invest in a full face mask?
- Do you feel comfortable while wearing a full face mask? ( consider both weight and comfort)
- What size mask do you need?
Protect yourself from injury by wearing the right helmet
Welding helmets can not only protect you from eye and skin damage, but they are also best known to provide safety against blue light and arc emitted sparks.
There’s no question of them being your priority as PPE. Helmets are made -up of pressed metals with a dark screen that does not reflect light.
Often, welders do not take wearing a helmet seriously. This doubles the chances of retina burns. Moreover, the worst scenario can be blindness.
Not being equipped with a fine helmet, is a huge mistake any welder can make.
Safety comes first. No one should take it for granted.
More about welding helmets
Still not convinced!!!
Let’s dig into more information about why a helmet is the best buddy during welding?
The helmet protects your eye and skin. You are entirely saved from any exposure to the arc rays, spark, spatter or any debris intervening in your eyes.
Manufactures manuals or the ANSI Z49.1 standard gives you a detailed selection guide. This is on the amperage, electrode, or welding process.
it is better to start with a helmet that has a darker filter lens. then slowly and gradually move towards the lighter shade filter lens until you reach good visibility at the puddle and weld joint.
The filter lenses are well-designed to protect any welder from visible or invisible (both infrared and ultraviolet) rays.
Helmet bibs and welding caps should also be a welder’s choice. The helmets save you spark or spatter that makes its way behind or underneath the hood.
Auto-darkening technology improves visibility and reduces eye fatigue
In this advanced era, helmets have also evolved a lot. There are helmets in markets that are technologically advanced in every matter like reactions speeds and sensitivity controls. Also nowadays the market is loaded with helmets that feature a wide range of darkening shades.
You can accommodate any budget welding application. An auto-darkening technology has eliminated the hassle of flipping the helmet up or down during repositioning work as continuous flipping of helmets causes neck strain or any potential injury.
Thanks to the modern world!!!
Multiple arc sensors help when welding out of position. An increased control offers improved comfort and compliance to a welder as they can adjust their setting as they desire. Features such as grind mode and delay control ensure maximum protection not only during the welding but also after the welding.
You can choose the helmet’s material and shape of the visor according to your welding needs. Many helmets come with a heat-reflective coating along with an aluminized heat shield. Both of these features are highly effective for high amperage welding. This feature improves lens durability and comfort in high heat welding tasks.
Headgear is also a prominent feature. It gives more comfort, stability, and balance during the welding.
As a professional, you should not miss any of the safety measures. Wearing a helmet should be your prime concern whenever you are about to start any welding process. Regardless of any welding job you do, you can’t skip wearing a helmet. Helmet saves you from eye injuries. They give you protection against exposure to debris or sparks too.
A good quality helmet is proven to save you from both ultraviolet and infrared rays. The helmets come in two styles passive and auto-darkening. An auto-darkening helmet is a one-time investment. Safety must be anyone’s top priority regardless of, you are a beginner or a pro.
My Name is Louis with a welding experience of 9 years in all types of welding processes. Especially I have good expertise in MIG, TIG & Arc welding processes. Read more about me….