At least four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise environments, ten million people in the U.S. have a noise-related hearing loss, and 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Like other jobs or careers, welders must wear suitable protective equipment. In general, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must protect against hazards such as burns, sparks, spatter, electric shock, and radiation.
Sparks and spatter fly off from the welding arc. Hot metal and sparks blow out from the cutting flame. The workpiece and equipment get hot. The flying sparks and hot metal, slag, spatter, hot workpiece, and hot equipment can cause burns. Additionally, arc rays can cause radiation burns.
A year or so ago a major waste company placed 12 street cleaners, wearing yellow hi viz coats in a busy out of town shopping complex and asked shoppers coming out how many they remembered seeing. The average the shoppers reported seeing was four.
Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are studying ultraviolet (UV) energy as a way to disinfect disposable respirators so that healthcare providers could reuse them during emergency situations, if they were in short supply.