What Welding Helmet should I be using ?

What’s the law?

In 2019 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported a rise in standards for welding fumes. This was because there was a report issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2017 which states that UV radiation from welding as well as welding fumes are considered as group 1 carcinogens.

The new standards declare that all indoor welding tasks need to be performed under local exhaust ventilation (LEV). In addition, if the LEV is unable to control the amount of welding fumes, the workers are required to use personal respiratory protective equipment (RPE), more commonly known as welding fume masks or air-fed welding masks. If the tasks are performed outdoors, there is no need for LEV and only RPE is required.

What should I be ordering?

For a start this article is not to sell you anything but to help you with any decisions you may need to make to stay compliant.

Fume extraction units are a great addition to fabrication lines as they offer greater flexibility when there are multiple welders etc. However, we cover more on this in another article. This article is to help the welder make the right choice on a welding helmet.

Costs Vs Budget

So, before we get into too much detail we want to touch briefly on costs etc. This is an area that can be quite daunting due to a wide range of products, features, quality, and prices. In this article we focus on two main ranges which are the 3M Speedglas range and the Weltek range. (don’t worry we know there are many other brands out there with unique points, but we feel these two ranges offer something for almost everyone).

On the standard options prices range from under £200 for something like the Weltek K-12 Auto Darkening Goggles to the 3M Speedglas 9100 range which can be up to around £600 depending on which model is best for you. Obviously, these products are only any good if you have adequate LEV in your premises.

The air-fed range are slightly more expensive due to the extra products required to complete the package but the prices tend to usually range between £500 – £1500.

Now to look at features & benefits

Due to keeping this article reasonably brief we won’t go into great details on all the products we offer, also we don’t want to bore you. Information on the standard helmets we offer you can find here otherwise read on to discover some of the features of the air-fed systems.

The first product to touch on is the Weltek Navitek S4. This helmet it great value and gives other more expensive helmets a run for their money. Some of the features of this helmet are listed below:

  • Flip front so can be used for both welding and grinding without removing the helmet
  • Combines the polyvalent S4 auto darkening filter with one of the largest clear grinding visors available in the market
  • Excellent ergonomics provide perfect protection for the forehead, ears and neck while keeping the weight at 581 grams
  • Great Warranty – 2 years on helmet, 1 year on the blower unit and 6 months on the battery.
  • Audible and visual alarm for both clogged filter and low battery.

To see more on this product please click here

The other product we’ll discuss in this article is the 3M Speedglas G5-01. This helmet is one of the latest to enter the Speedglas range and is probably one of the best in the market (that’s according to us). Designed for the “heavy duty” welder this helmet offers all the very latest in RPE technology making their jobs easier and more enjoyable. Some of the features of the G5-01 are listed below:

  • The flip-up functionality allows you to seamlessly switch between welding and grinding tasks while maintaining powered air respiratory protection.
  • With the helmet’s new duct system, users can direct the airflow to either their face or visor, as well as the amount of air coming from the top outlet vs. the two side outlets. With greater control over personalised settings, users can balance the airflow’s cooling effect while minimising flows that might dry out their nose or eyes.
  • Both of the new G5-01 auto-darkening welding filters (ADFs) feature the popular 3M Speedglas Natural Colour Technology for more realistic colour in the light state.
  • G5-01VC (Variable Colour) model lets users select a warm, standard, or cool colour preference.
  • For extended non-welding work, just unscrew the two dials to completely remove the welding visor and re-attach the dials again, reducing the helmet weight by up to 36%.
  • Head protection at the back of the helmet is interchangeable.
  • Smartphone app – keep control of your favourite filter settings. Switch sensitivity, dark settings and delays.
  • Audible and visual alarm for both clogged filter and low battery.

To see more on this product please click here

In Conclusion

To wrap up this article, we’d like to firstly thank you for taking the time to read through and we trust this has been a useful insight into the options and the requirements needed to be compliant. For more information on the products discussed please take a minute to browse through our website.

If you’re still unsure what you require or want more information before making an investment then don’t hesitate to contact our sales team on 01452 525757, or fill out the form below and we can discuss your specific requirements and can also arrange on site demonstrations if needed ensuring you have complete peace of mind that you made the correct choice.

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