What You Need To Maintain A Safe Workplace: Vintage Welding Goggles And More!

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Welding Buddy Experts

November 24, 2021
vintage welding goggles

Proper safety gear is critical when working with high voltage electricity or any other dangerous objects. When it comes to welding, several safety measures need to be taken. The first and most important is wearing the proper protective gear, and the steps include not only a helmet with a face shield but also vintage welding safety glasses, too! There is also bodily equipment you need to use.

Let us help you maintain a safe workplace and keep yourself from harm by checking this different safety equipment. We’ll discuss how the safety attires keep you protected and what characteristics to look for to get the best equipment. Let’s begin!

Modern and Vintage Welding Goggles

Your eyes are highly exposed to radiation, harsh light, chemicals, and spatters of hot steel from the material you are working on. You cannot perform a highly detailed welding task at hand without seeing clearly. So it is essential to keep your eyes safe using welding helmets and modern or vintage welding glasses. 

How They Keep You Safe

By wearing welding safety glasses, you are saved from these workplace dangers:

Flash burns/Arc eye/Photokeratitis: When the eyes are exposed to high amounts of UV rays from a welding torch, you can suffer from flash burns. You'll experience the swelling of the cornea and the appearance of bloodshot in the eyes. You may also have watery eyes and sensitivity to light. 

Cataracts: Studies show that long-term exposure to UV rays is linked to individuals eventually developing cataracts. 

Metal spatter burns: When you weld, metal slags come flying everywhere, and these can all cause your eyes and other body parts to get burned.

Chemicals, fumes, and vapors: Although these particles are small, they are highly terrible to the eyes. Manganese, aluminum, arsenic, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen fluoride are all present in different amounts in welding chemicals. They are harmful when they enter the eyes.

What To Look For To Get The Best

To ensure that no harm will reach your eyes, here are the characteristics your welding goggles should have:

  • Automatic adjustment to UV light: There should be different goggles shades from lighter to darker ones (shade 6 welding glasses, shade 8 welding glasses, shade 9 welding glasses) to adjust to UV rays intensity.
  • Sufficient view: The viewing area of the lens should be enough for you to see your weld.
  • Proper fit: The right fit for your welding glasses ensures no fumes, chemicals, and spatter seeps into the goggles and reaches your eye.
  • Polycarbonate lenses: For durability, shock, and scratch resistance, pick the goggles made with polycarbonate lenses. 

These days, you’ll still find old-fashioned welding glasses or antique welding glasses which are aesthetically pleasing. But make sure they are still highly functional before using them. Use the guide above as your guide to ensure you are getting the best. 

Welding Helmets

Aside from brazing goggles and gas welding goggles, your face and neck should also be kept safe from chemicals and metal spatters. This time, you are protecting your skin from any burns. Since it covers the eyes too, welding helmets provide an additional layer of protection for your eyes. 

How They Keep You Safe

All the possible damages of not wearing welding goggles like arc eyes and exposure to chemicals and fumes can be avoided because of welding helmets. Burns in the face and neck are additional advantages of wearing a welding helmet.

Eye protection: Many welding helmets also have eye protection that adjusts their shade settings depending on the level of UV rays from your welding. 

Wide viewing lens: Welding sunglasses only cover the eyes and a portion of the area surrounding it, so the visibility is limited. Welding helmets have a bigger viewing area, so you’ll see your weld and avoid any workspace mistakes. 

Protection from fumes and chemicals: Helmets have the unique technology of keeping you ventilated while ensuring no chemicals will get through it and cause eye and lung damage. 

Protection until the neck and shoulders: Some helmets also have a hood to protect the neck and shoulders further. 

What To Look For To Get The Best

Now, different helmets have different features, so it helps to check their specifics first before purchasing. Look for the following characteristics to reap all the benefits welding helmets bring. 

  • Quick auto-darkening: Find the helmet that adjusts quickly to the number of UV rays present. Some designs change in a matter of 1/25,000 seconds.
  • Wide lens shade: Having a helmet with a wide variety of shades ensures that you have protection no matter how high or low the radiation you are exposed to.
  • Enough ventilation: With a single glance, you’ll know welding helmets are tight and secure to ensure you won’t be exposed to chemicals. Nevertheless, look for the ones that provide proper ventilation. 
  • Enough viewing area: Seeing the material you are welding ensures quality work and safety. Find the helmet that will give you a comfortable view.

For the aesthetics, there are helmets with varied designs you can also consider. Nevertheless, prioritize the safety features first. 

vintage welding glasses


The following health concern you need to be mindful of is your lungs. While helmets already keep you from inhaling harmful fumes and chemicals, there are findings that the best protection from cancer-causing fumes from welding is wearing respirators. Most of them are affordable, and the price you are investing in is worth the health benefits.

How They Keep You Safe

Your investment in affordable respirators will be worth it because of all the possible pulmonary diseases you are keeping yourself away from.

Occupational asthma: The first among the many respiratory diseases you may suffer if you do not protect your lungs is exposure to fumes and dust. 

Silicosis/Acute silicosis: The materials you are welding produce crystalline silica-containing dust. When inhaled consistently for some time, it causes pulmonary fibrosis or silicosis. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): If you experience difficulty breathing, the development of cough and mucus, and wheezing sounds when breathing, you must be suffering from COPD, another workplace danger caused by not wearing respirators. 

Lung cancer: When you suffer from lung illnesses and are still exposed to fumes and chemicals, the worst disease to have is lung cancer. 

You can inhibit yourself from suffering all these just by wearing respirators at work. This line is a cliche, but indeed, prevention is better than cure.

What To Look For To Get The Best

The best respirators should protect you against fumes and chemicals and inhibit any of the respiratory nightmares we’ve mentioned above. To ensure you are getting the protection you need, here are the features the respirator should have:

  • Proper sealing: Find a respirator with a silicone face seal to ensure an appropriate fit, not allowing any particles to enter. 
  • Have filters: The best respirators either can be disassembled for cleaning or have replaceable filters to ensure you have clean ones every workday. 
  • Well-designed airflow: The perfect scenario is that you breathe cool air despite the respirator. The air you exhale will not stay inside the deal but be driven out. You can find these features in the best respirators. 
  • Size that fits inside a helmet: Another consideration when buying is the assurance that it will fit under your respirator. Pick also the lightweight ones for your convenience.

Top all these characteristics with straps that are convenient to attach and remove. 

Fire-Resistant Clothing

Your occupational and health safety department indeed includes the requirement of wearing fire-resistant clothing if you are a welder. Even if you aren’t required and are just welding for leisure, it is vital to wear fire-resistant clothing. Doing so will protect your skin and body from any welding-related hazards.

How They Keep You Safe

If wearing thick jackets and coat protects you from the cold, fire-resistant clothing protects you from too much heat, which can cause the following dangers:

  • Thermal burns: First among the hazards is suffering burns because of leaning into metals and machines with scorching temperatures. When exposed to UV rays, you can also get burns. 
  • Equipment explosion: Welding equipment is at high risk of malfunctioning—even if you set them up correctly. With this, never let your guards down and wear fire-resistant clothing. 
  • Ruined clothing: Ruined clothing occurs when the slags and spatters splashes on your clothes, which can worsen as it can lead to clothing burning. 
  • Protection from heat or cold: Aside from protecting you from workplace accidents, it can also keep you warm and cold (depending on the clothing design) in cold and hot weather.

Keep yourself from catching fire by wearing fire-resistant clothing, and make sure to follow the guidelines on how to wear them properly. 

What to Look For to Get the Best

Adding a layer of fire-resistant shirts and pants is the best way to keep yourself and the people around you safe. Look for these characteristics to ensure your clothing won’t catch fire from torches and metal splatters and slags. 

  • Lightweight: The fire-resistant layer should be lightweight to ensure what you are wearing isn't too heavy since you still have inner clothing.
  • Fits the weather: Check out whether the clothing is for summer or winter days, so you’ll have the coolness or warmth you need for the season. 
  • Has room for movement: You want to have the comfort of moving from one position to another with all the projects you have, so get the pants and shirt that give you this comfort.

Advanced technology hasn't only kept you safe but allowed the manufacturing of fire-resistant clothing with great designs. You can still work safely while rocking an outfit!

vintage welding safety glasses

Boots And Gloves

In welding, regular rubber shoes will not work well in protecting your legs and feet from the metal spatters and slags. When it comes to protecting your hands, you can never go on regular gloves, but instead, you should always wear gloves meant for welding. 

How They Keep You Safe

Wearing the proper work boots and gloves can ensure you are kept far from these hands and feet pains:

Electrocution: You use your hands to control any electrical switch and make welding equipment work. The gloves will serve as an insulator protecting you from electrocution.

Hands and feet burn: The hands are the closest to the extremely hot torch, while the feet are in danger of getting molten metal falling on them. Burns are highly probable in these areas. 

You do not want to end up losing your fingers or toes at work, so make sure to wear gloves and boots all the time. Besides, doing so is a part of the rules for workplace safety. 

What To Look For To Get The Best

Ensure that you are getting the gloves fit for the welding activity you are doing. And, since you are already trying to protect yourself, make sure you get the best pair.

  • Made of grade A materials: Pigskin, cowhide, leather, and Kevlar stitching are some of the features you want to see your gloves are made of to ensure their durability. 
  • Has pads for comfort: Key areas of the hand should also be padded to ensure that you will still feel comfortable despite long hours of having the same position. 
  • Dexterity: At the same time, you want to ensure you can move your hands and fingers comfortably despite the layers of protection. Try picking a dime to see if you can move your fingers just right. 

When it comes to welding boots, here are what you should look for:

  • Steel reinforcement: The steel reinforcement should cover the heel, toes, and shank. 
  • Metatarsal protection: If any objects fall on your feet, the steel reinforcement and metatarsal guards will protect your feet. 
  • Comfortable and easy-to-wear: It is better to pick slip-on boots than laced ones for faster wearing and removing. Also, choose those with comfortable and breathable insoles. 

Never underestimate the protection welding gloves and boots give you and get only the best.  

In Closing

You've probably heard it before, but safety is an essential thing in any industry. Working with hot materials and chemicals can be very dangerous without proper protection. Using modern or vintage welding goggles or welders' helmets can protect you from flying debris as well as accidental flashes. Respirators protect against gases such as carbon monoxide and particles. You may also wear fire-resistant clothing, boots, and gloves.

Remember this comprehensive list of what you need to maintain a safe workplace. These are things that can help protect yourself and your colleagues from different hazards in the welding environment. 

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