What are the different types of standards for welding?
Welding is not a risk-free profession. Therefore, it is a particularly regulated field. Numerous national, European and even international standards define the safety rules for both welding equipment and the work environment. They all have the one objective: to preserve the welder’s health. The main standards and regulations to be respected are listed below:
- The NF EN 287-2004 is the main standard reference for welding. It defines the different welding techniques and the best way to apply them. This standard defines precisely the welding processes such as torch welding, plasma welding, TIG welding, MIG-MAG welding or MMA welding. It also clearly explains to the welder the best positions to adopt during these welding operations. This standard also gives valuable information on the materials to use, the different types of steel and their thickness.
- The European qualification standards for welders (EN ISO 9606, EN 287-1, etc.) define the qualifications required to work as a welder. An independent certified body aims to ensure the dexterity of the person who performs welding work and his knowledge in the field (implementation of instructions, choice of metals and welding gases …). It will then provide a qualification certificate, valid for 12 to 36 months, which guarantees the welder’s training.
- Safety standards are there to protect the welder’s health; the NF EN ISO 15011-4 standard classifies the gases emanating from metal welding according to their toxicity, in terms of danger and emission. The NF EN 15012-1 standard will determine the requirements for air filtration equipment in order to protect the welder from toxic gas emissions.
- The PPE standards define the criteria for the protective equipment that the welder must wear to be protected from metal splashes for example.
- Standards concerning the welding equipment: a welding machine must have the IP23 standard, which guarantees, on one side, its sealing, and on the other side its strength against foreign particles. Consumables, such as electrodes, welding wires and rods, are also subject to standards that are specific to the type of metal (stainless steel, non-alloyed steels, creep-resistant steels)
What are the standards for welder’s PPE?
Welding PPE is regulated according to its use.
Welder’s safety footwear standards
To be protected from head to toe: the ISO 20345 standard specifies the level of protection for welders’ safety shoes. These shoes must be equipped with a protective toe cap that resists a certain pressure and a crushing force set at 15 kN. Additional protections for the shoes, indicated by a letter, exist: for example an upper resistant to cuts, a sole resistant to heat up to 300 degrees or a protection that protects the feet from electric current.
Standards for welding clothing
The welder’s entire body can be subjected to severe stress. In order to be protected from multiple risks (radiant heat of the electric arc, projections of molten metal, etc.), the welder equips him or herself with protective clothing that complies with the ISO 11611 standard. This standard defines the level of protection and thermal insulation against a flame, for example. Thus, this standard identifies two classes: class 1 concerns welding work with low radiant heat and few metal projections, while class 2 is the reference for welding with high radiant heat and a tenfold projection risk.
Standards for welding protection glasses
Protecting your eyes from the glare of welding is crucial. Three standards define the specifications for welding safety glasses:
- The EN 169 standard concerns the transmission of filters for welding work.
- The EN 175 standard determines a level of protective performance.
- The EN 379 standard defines the specificities and the switches (automatic or manual) of the automatic welding filters and the opto-electrical filters.
In addition to the basic EN 166 standard for protective eyewear, these standards allow each welder to be efficiently protected according to his/her mission.
Standards for welding gloves
Welding gloves comply with strict standards ensuring different levels of safety requirements. Each of the references EN ISO 21420, EN 407, EN 388, EN 12477 informs respectively on the general requirements and test methods, on the anti-heat properties, the mechanical properties and the welding properties. The certification in accordance with the EN 12477 standard is only issued if the work gloves are previously certified in accordance with the EN ISO 21420, EN 388 and EN 407 standards. Indeed, a welding glove must protect against the risks inherent to this profession and therefore belongs to category 2. It is thus necessary to be particularly vigilant with the standards of the gloves.
Welding gloves are classified into two categories:
- Type A: The protection against heat is more efficient. Flexibility and dexterity are not the priority. It is intended for all welding procedures except TIG welding.
- Type B: This category focuses on flexibility and dexterity. The protection against heat is less than on type A. This glove is suitable for TIG welding.
Lebon exclusively produces welding gloves with quality materials known for their high resistance to flames and heat. They provide the welders’ hands with an optimal level of protection. Lebon also ensures that its welding gloves provide perfect hygiene and comfort. Users can easily identify the standards of our gloves thanks to the clear and visible marking.
One of our latest addition to the welding glove range is the BLACKWELDER, whose composition in waterproof grain leather and brown color on the palm allows great flexibility, protection to heat and projections. Its para-aramid lining provides unprecedented cut resistance for a welding glove. This glove is equipped with a soft leather cuff to protect the user’s forearm.