Blasting and Welding Safety
Providing an approved safety product for the operators not only protects them, it also maximizes their efficiency and production.
Abrasive Blasting Respirators
Abrasive Blasting Respirators, or blasting helmets, must be NIOSH approved. Paraphrase of the NIOSH regulations: “The Type-CE supplied air respirators are designed to protect the operator’s head and neck from impact and abrasion from rebounding abrasive material, which do not hinder the vision and permit easy access to external surface for cleaning.” Most of the current blasting helmets also meet the ANSI standards for head protection and for velocity eye protection. Note: Class D breathable air must be supplied and monitored according to NIOSH and OSHA regulations.
Blasting helmets, over the past few years, there has been a number design and engineering innovations. Today’s helmets are much lighter and more comfortable than the previous models. The field of vision has been increased. The lens packages are easier for personnel to install and operate. The air flow within the blast helmets has been improved to provide even distribution of air into the breathing zone and reduces lens fogging. Tinted lenses are also available for most blast helmets
Air supply for operators can come from compressed air, ambient pumps or powered air purifying respirator systems (PAPRs). Please refer to the Breathable Air or Respiratory pages for additional information.
Blast helmet capes: Each blast helmet includes a cape that attached to the base of the helmet to protect the operator’s neck from the direct impact and rebounding abrasive media. There are different sizes and lengths of the capes to choose from.
Blast jackets are available to provide additional protection to the operator’s arms.
Blast suits offer full body protection, options include lightweight nylon, to heavy duty leather with breathable cotton back panels to provide more comfort for the operator. Sizes are available from medium to XXXXL.
Remote Controls, often referred to as a “Deadman Switch” are available in pneumatic or electronic models. In a blasting operations using a pressure pot, to activate the air and media flow, the operator must engage the remote control. To stop the blasting procedure, simply release the control. As a safety feature, these controls are designed to shut down the blasting operation if for some reason the operator becomes incapacitated.
OSHA has regulations for exposure to fumes created by welding, cutting or brazing metals from mild steel to alloys containing chromium metals, such as stainless steel. OSHA Cr(VI) standards require employers to use feasible engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposures at or below the permissible exposure limit (PEL). Fume extractors and welding helmet respirators are the primary methods for controlling and reducing exposure.
Welding helmets provide respiratory, eye and face protection. Welding respirators are available for supplied air or PAPR systems. Many of the new helmets can convert from welding to grinding applications with the push of a button.
Over the past few years, technology has brought numerous improvements to welding helmets. New plastics have made them comfort and weight of the helmets, superior optics, wider shade ranges, faster tinting and improved arc detention.
There is a wide range of gloves available, including elkskin, cowhide, deerskin and goat skin for comfort and dexterity. Cuffs, and cotton and/or foam linings provide additional heat and spark protection. Apparel options include: sleeves, jackets, aprons, chaps, back-hand pads and show covers in leather or flame retardant cotton. See more gloves and apparel options on our Hand & Body Protection page.
Climate Control - Personnel Comfort
Helmet air flow and climate control options are available with supplied air systems. Choose from direct or adjustable flow, cool tubes, hot air tubes and dual hot/cold tubes. Note: ambient air pumps and PAPRs do not generate enough CFM for most of the climate control tubes or vests.
The new generation of dual climate control devices, provide air flow adjustments, and the incoming air can be cooled up to 50 degrees or heated it up over 30 degrees.
Cool vests are available for extra comfort and operator protection. Air fed cool vest utilize a cool tube and can be worn when blasting or during other tasks, like painting, grinding or assembly. Three sizes are available, 49”, 53.5” or 66” chest. Isotherm Cool Vests can maintain hours of cooling to reduce the chance of heat-related illnesses. Additional Isotherm replacement packs can be used to provide quick change out when needed. Evaporative vests are fast, easy, convenient and can stay cool for hours