My Cart

20% Off Code: 20FIRSTORDER | Free Shipping Over $25

Ensuring Your Protection in the Welding Industry

Posted on June 17 2019

Ensuring Your Protection in the Welding Industry

In face of US welding industry’s recent and anticipated rapid growth, thousands more Americans are exploring this exciting, variable yet incredibly demanding, high-risk profession. Various techniques within the welding industry such as manual metal arc, tungsten inert gas, and spot welding, amongst others, pose serious dangers to workers such as UV radiation, flying debris, electric shocks and eye damage that can lead to more serious and permanent medical issues. The appropriate workwear and PPE are vital in ensuring high levels of employee protection but also maximising productivity; luckily, Workwear Depot can offer both Portwest’s innovative products and our own tips to guarantee both.

Eyes and Face

Firstly, a welder’s face and eye protection are of significant importance due to their sensitivity and high levels of exposure to the potential risks of radiation, flying debris, hot slag sparks, intense light, irritation and chemical burns. A welding helmet, hand shield, browguard or googles are vital in ensuring worker’s safety and these should be regularly checked, with cracked or damaged items being discarded immediately and replaced in order to ensure the utmost protection for workers. A tight-fitting helmet is also useful in reducing light reflection and thus UV radiation into the helmet through the space between the shell and the head; greater protection can also be achieved by covering the head with a scalp cap or hood. Browguards such as Portwest PPE Browguard Plus PW96 offers superior front and side face protection from impact, metal splashes and hot solid projections and lighter protection can be found in Portwest Ultra Vista Goggle Unvented PW25 that can withstand extreme temperature and provide excellent eye protection for particles, gas and liquid splashes. However, employers should check and comply with the strict ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 in order to check their chosen piece of PPE adheres to the filter lenses and plate requirement for their technique of welding.


Respiratory protection is immensely vital to worker safety in this high-risk profession. By the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2017 reclassifying welding fumes and UV radiation as known Group 1 carcinogens and these risks being commonly termed ‘the silent hazard’, the need to combat this threat is evident. Especially in more enclosed welding environments where there is insufficient ventilation to remove welding fumes, respirators are vital to protect workers against fumes and oxides which may lead to these more severe medical conditions or others such as asthma. Respirators such as the Portwest P2 Respirator (20) P200 offer protection through efficient filtration against a range of non-oily particles, and, more fittingly for a hot welding environment, the Portwest P2V Respirator Valved (10) P201 utilises an exhalation valve which reduces heat and humidity. Employers should also consider their ventilation and extraction systems in order to maximise safety.


Workers can also easily protect their ears from the abrasive sound of welding which can potentially lead to ear damage through simply the use of ear plugs or protectors. The Portwest PU Foam Ear Plug (200 pairs) EP02 offer more light protection or more advanced defence can be sought in full ear muffs such as the Portwest Classic Ear Protectors PW40 that are effective but light and robust for comfortable everyday wear.


Whilst normally in such a warm environment, workers may feel more comfortable in as few uncomfortable garments as possible, the dangers of flying sparks and molten debris in the welding industry mean workers are safest when wearing high coverage, fire retardant clothing. Luckily, Workwear Depot’s FR clothing selection, in keeping with the ANSI Standard’s recommendations, provides a wide range of garments to protect worker’s bodies from heat, fires, burns and radiation whilst ensuring maximum comfort. Items with high coverage such as coveralls in UPF fabrics allow for maximum protection from radiation and fires; the Portwest Modaflame Coverall MX28 ensures this through its inherent and long lasting flame resistant qualities that provides protection against radiant, convective and contact heat and 50+UPF protection against dangerous UV rays. With its Class 1 welding protection, the excellent material of this garment, coupled with the long legs and high collared shirt design, ensuring neck and throat protection, provides a highly appropriate garment for this industry. Other designs such as the Portwest Bizweld Iona Coverall UB1Z5 also offers the same protection from molten metal splash amongst others. If not a coverall, long sleeved tops and full length trousers are also highly appropriate options. Both the Portwest Bizflame Shirt 88/12 FR89 and Portwest BizWeld Cargo Pants BZ31 guarantee flame resistance for the life of the garment to provide prolonged protection. Design features such as the button up, collared shirt, protecting the skin around the neck and throat, un-cuffed trouser legs as not to collect sparks and the lightweight material of both these garments ensure a high level of protection and comfort for wearers in a demanding, hot environment. Darker fabrics such as navy and gray (all of which the above garments are available in) are also useful in minimizing the risks of burns are they prevent light reflection. Moreover, ensure garments do not have any open pockets (these should be buttoned or zipped up), frayed edges, tears or holes as to reduce fire hazards; these imperfections should be addressed immediately to achieve maximum protection at all times.

Feet and Hands

In an environment with flying sparks and debris, workers can prioritise their immediate comfort and safety through securely fitting safety boots. The Portwest Steelite Task Force FW65 are an innovative design with a heat resistant outsole ensuring compatibility with a demanding and hot work environment, their slip resistant and protective steel toecap design further adding precaution and the highly laced front ensuring no sparks can enter the boot. Others leather boots such as Portwest Clyde Safety Boot FD10 and Portwest Steelite Welted Safety Boot FW16 also offer similar protection against a high heat environment and against slipping or falling object hazards which are highly appropriate for the welding industry. Moreover, gauntlet type cuff leather gloves protect wrists and forearms from flying debris, heat, electric shocks, fire and radiation. Both the Portwest Welding Gauntlet A530 are made from long lasting, reinforced premium quality leather and Portwest Welders Gauntlet from 14 inch cow split leather (with full cotton lining for comfort) to ensure this maximum safety. Ensure that this leather is in dry and good condition to maximise safety.

Further Precautions

Workers should be educated in the signs of potentially long-term medical problems and how to address them as soon as possible. Moreover, unfortune incidents or injuries occurring during welding should receive immediate medical attention to aid the worker as much as possible due to the typically high-risk nature of these accidents. For more extensive information regarding welding safety requirements, workers and employers should see OSHA 29CF 1910.252 to learn more.

To fully equip workers in comfortable, practical and highly protective attire, Workwear Depot stocks a wide range of Portwest’s innovative products to ensure both the ultimate ease and safety the highly demanding working environment of the welding industry. With an easy to order online service and swift packing and shipping, Workwear Depot offer efficient service and excellent products to help you ensure you achieve your maximum productivity.