Safety Glasses and Eye Protection in Welding Environments
Safety glasses are the most important thing we can wear in the welding environment. Safety glasses or a long-term insurance policy on the health and welfare of your vision. Without proper vision, being a welding operator or welder can be a very difficult challenge.
Making sure that we protect our eyes and get them checked out by an eye doctor on a frequent basis is the best thing you can do to insure your long-term eye health. ANSI Z49.1 provides information about health and safety in the welding and cutting industries. ANSI Z87.1 is what we want to find on the side, frames or lens of our safety glasses. This ensures that they meet the minimum standards suggested by industry experts and government standards.
Our eyes are exposed to many hazards in the welding environment. Bright light, flying metal, hot objects, dust and airborne contaminants are but only a few of the eye hazards that we might be exposed to in the welding environment. Making sure we have some safety glasses that protect against all these hazards and that fit our face comfortably is the most important feature that all safety glasses must-have. Getting some glasses that don't fog up real quick, or as soon as you start to work is also nice feature to have.
Safety glasses come in many different shapes sizes colors and features. Most standard glasses should have durable lenses that are easily seen through and also have side protection of some sort to keep flying objects from entering the glasses from the side. Tight fitting styles and close to your face also helps protect against dust and flying objects.
What color are the lenses is one question that many people always seem to ask. Safety glasses club in clear, shades of yellow, orange,amber, green or other dark smoke colored tints. Furthermore, some also have special coatings to help reflect away light that may enter your eyes and injure your eyes without it.
Most people prefer to use the clear lenses. Clear lenses are best if were planning to wear our safety glasses under our welding hood. Glasses that have tints or other shades and colors tend to give us color rendering problems and issues in combination with the dark lenses that are in the welding hood. The dark safety glasses even create more issues when we combine them with the darkness of the existing lens in the welding helmet.
As for arc welding we need to make sure our eyes are protected from the bright light generated from the welding arc. The American National Standards Institute in conjunction with the American Welding Society and the Occupational Safety and Health Act have tables that help us select the correct shade of lens required within our welding helmet to do particular types of welding operations. In general as the current increases, so does the darkness of the welding shade or tint required to properly perform the welding operation. When we perform oxy-fuel gas welding, we can also check the same chart to verify that we have the correct welding shade lens.
Gas torches tend to have shades that are quite a bit lighter than the darkness required for arc welding operations.
A typical shade for an average pair of gas welding goggles might be a shade five. On the other hand many people select a shade number 10 as their minimum shade that they like to use with arc welding.
Check out the Longevity website (www.longevity-inc.com) or YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/longevitywelding) for more details and information about equipment for different welding and cutting processes. Longevity has the right machine and equipment for your exact application, so take a look and choose what is the best fit for your materials, product and needs and application.