Early welding was dirty work. Welders of the past were exposed to flying sparks, harmful fumes, and high temperatures with very little protective gear. From when welding processes were first used in the Middle Ages to the modern, innovative welding helmets of today, personal protective equipment for welding safety has come a long way.
In the United States, workers required to wear respiratory protection must pass an annual respirator fit test. Fit tests help companies ensure worker safety by verifying a respirator can provide an OSHA-mandated and standardized level of protection.
The standard applies to all occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica, except where employee exposure will remain below 25 μg/m3 as an 8-hour TWA under any foreseeable conditions and those occurring during agricultural operations covered under 29 CFR part 1928 and and exposures that result from the processing of sorptive clays.
Certain respirators, known as tight-fitting respirators, must form a tight seal with your face or neck to work properly, according to OSHA. If your respirator doesn't fit your face properly, contaminated air can leak into your respirator facepiece, and you could breathe in hazardous substances.
A complaint of unsafe working conditions led OSHA inspectors to discover the safety and health of employees at a well-known Oklahoma truck bed fabricator being placed at risk amid nearly two dozen safety and health violations.