Whether you are a welder or a safety manager, the need for eye and face protection is well known when it comes to welding. But other hazards – like welding fumes – are not so well known and can result in illnesses weeks, months or years later. We can assist you in identifying the proper gear to help keep you safe for your environment.
Make a list of all the risks in your welding environment (radiation, sparks, fumes, noise, trip hazards, falling objects, etc). 3M can help with hazard monitoring and measurement tools, such as air sampling equipment.
Determine your protection based on relevant factors, such as the following:
As one of our most popular respirators, the 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Respirator is designed to provide welders a constant nominal airflow rate of 205 liters per minute.
Based on your needs,we have populated our helmet matrix with carefully considered design blends of protection, features, personal preferences, and performance to help provide quick informal suggestions for the applications needs of most welders. For every helmet system we design, we have four driving factors:
UV/IR radiation. High speed grinding particles. Small falling objects. Respirable particles. List your workplace hazards - then find the right Speedglas helmet, accessories, and respiratory protection.
Are you aware of the hazards in Metalworking? Watch this short video to explore some of the common ones.
Every helmet design detail can affect your view. That’s why we provide high-performance auto-darkening welding filters, our side windows lenses, and large, protective clear visors. Each of these, and many more, helmet design elements help maximize your ability to see.
Hear why Welder Gordie Blair likes the larger view.
Before you select a helmet you might get guidance by considering the questions below.
Not sure what you need? Download this flowchart to help with your selection (PDF, 399 KB).
When working in areas with overhead hazards you might benefit from a welding helmet with flexible head protection (QR – Quick Release). There are ear plugs available for most situations, however if there is a need of ear muffs you might need to consider a helmet that has a design that does not interfere when using ear muffs.
As welding processes produce fume, respiratory protection may be needed. 3M offers disposable and reusable particulate respirators that fits with Speedglas welding helmets. However you might find that you need a powered or supplied air system and then you need a helmet with air duct. There are several models to choose from depending on what other needs you might have. Further details in section Welding Respiratory Protection.
By just picking up a helmet with a 9100XXi or SL welding filter , you’ll automatically turn on your ADF.
Your decision tree when selecting welding filter
Manganese is a grey-white metal resembling iron. Manganese is used extensively to produce a variety of important alloys and to desulfurize and deoxidize steel. Manganese is also in many welding rods and filler metals to promote hardness. Manganese oxide fume is formed when manganese metal is heated and reacts with oxygen in the air such as occurs during welding.
There have been recent changes by ACGIH to manganese occupational exposure limits (OEL) which may have an effect on various industries and industrial processes. One of the more recent ailments, identified by the National Institutes of Health, that can afflict welders is manganism, also known as welder's disease.
All welding fumes contains particles and/or gas. The type of contaminants is partially determined by the material you are welding, how it is finished or cleaned and also by the type of welding electrode being used. Consult professional health expertise to identify the hazards levels against country safety standards. Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) are given in each individual country’s national safety requirements. Your certified Industrial Hygienist can use 3M™ EVM Environmental Monitors to measure airborne contaminants in real-time, or 3M™ Organic Vapor Monitors to determine personal exposure levels.
General Guide for Respiratory Protection
Download the chart (PDF 46 KB) for a general outline to the type of 3M™ respirators that may be appropriate for your welding applications. The overview looks at the metals to be joined, welding processes, and ventilation conditions. It then lists the common types of respiratory protection that your Industrial Hygienist may recommend as determined by their hazard assessments.
P = Particulate filtration via disposable respirator (N95), reusable respirator (P100), or 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) with High Efficiency Particulate Filter (P100) installed.
P + OV/AG = Particulate (P100) and Organic Vapor/Acid Gas (OV/AG) filtration via powered air respirator with both a 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) High Efficiency Particulate Filter (P100) and 3M™ Adflo™ Cartridge, Organic Vapor/Acid Gas (OV/SD/CL/HC) installed.
S = Supplied air regulator (SAR) and filtration unit.
"Powered Air Purifying Respirators vs. Supplied Air Respirators vs. Reusable Respirators vs. Disposable Respirators
The following is an overview of the four general types of 3M™ Welding Respirators. In addition to your application’s specific filtration requirements, your selection process may include various additional factors, such as equipment style/configuration, personal preference/comfort, and maintenance considerations. For example:
1. Are you looking for welding respirators designed to help make breathing easier?
2. Are you trying to keep your welders cooler and more comfortable, even in hot, humid conditions?
3. Do you need respiratory systems that are designed to be integrated with eye, face, head and hearing protection options?
4. Do you need to accommodate users with facial hair?"