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May 15, 2018


Welding Curtains: when should you use them?

When Should Welding Curtains Be Used?

Around 2.3 million people are employed in metal goods, engineering and vehicle production in the UK. In 2016/2017, the HSE reported that there were over 60,000 injuries in the workplace, with welding being one of the most hazardous occupations today. The most common workplace injuries for welders include lung and nerve damage from toxic chemicals, burns, and also welder's flash (or arc eye). We can help warehouse owners who are trying to lower the incidence of arc eye by offering a range of welding curtains and screens.

Problems caused by the welding arc light

What welding screens and curtains do is provide a screen to protect other employees who may be working nearby or passing by from the welding arc light. The arc ray is an intense ultraviolet light which can burn any skin that is left exposed. If the welder or other employees nearby aren't wearing proper eye protection or are too close to the arc, they can develop flash burns to their eyes.

Common symptoms of arc eye include an intense burning feeling caused by dehydrated eyes, light sensitivity and also tearing eyes. Many signs of arc eye don't show up until a few hours after exposure to the light and can disappear within a day and a half, with antibiotic eye drops or ointments, painkillers or, if it’s likely to take a while to heal, an eye patch may be needed. In rare cases, the arc ray may penetrate the eye enough to damage the retina, which can lead to diminished vision, a heightened sensitivity to light, and even cataracts.

Welders are often at risk of arc eye as they position their heads close to the arc in order to be able to see better through the smoke and glare. Some solutions for this are to wear safety reading glasses under their welding hood, in order to be able to better judge the distance from themselves to the gauge. There are also auto-darkening hoods available which not only protect the welder's eyes but also help to prevent defects as the welder can see better even when the helmet is down.

How welding curtains protect against arc eye

To prevent arc eye from occurring to other employees in your business who happen to be passing by where the welding is taking place, all you need to do is invest in one of our lightweight PVC welding curtains. These flexible and mobile screens not only protect from the intense UV ray that causes arc eye, but they can also provide a barrier against sparks that may cause fires. The name of these curtains is a little misleading though, as they are not just useful for welding, but also for other hot work too (such as brazing, burning and grinding).

Which safety standard covers welding curtains?

The most current standard that welding curtains need to adhere to is BS EN ISO 25980:2014, which is concerned with health and safety in welding and allied processes, and this covers transparent welding curtains, strips and screens for arc welding processes. Despite the fact that the standard makes no reference to screen colour, it is widely accepted that flame retardant reinforced red PVC, such as the PVC we use in our screens, is the best material as it offers a certain amount of translucency which allows passers-by to see if someone is working inside.

The majority of our welding curtains are also supplied with wheels attached to the frame which makes them more portable. This means that they can be positioned easily in a way that makes sure they are not trip hazards, and that they can be moved if they are blocking walkways or interfering with other operations within the business. 

Get in touch with us today to order your welding curtains and screens. You can call us on 0333 999 7171 or send us an email to sales@stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk