FTS PPE for Welding & Metalwork

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. The use of PPE is a good safe practice and may be required by regulatory agencies. For example, OSHA requires the use of PPE when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective.

NATURE OF THE HAZARD Welding and cutting can produce hazards such as sparks, spatter, radiation (infrared, ultraviolet, and blue light), slag, heat, hot metal, fumes and gases, and even electric shock. Since these hazards may cause burns, injury, or death, it is important to wear proper PPE at all times

Foot Protection

  • Wear leather, steel-toed, high-topped boots in good condition. They will help protect your feet and ankles from injury. • 

  • In heavy spark or slag areas, use fireresistant boot protectors or leather spats strapped around your pant legs and boot tops to prevent injury and burns. • 

  • Do not wear pants with cuffs. Wear the bottoms of your pants over the tops of your boots to keep out sparks and flying metal. Do not tuck pant legs into your boots. 


  • Wear oil-free protective clothing made of wool or heavy cotton. Heavier materials work best. They are harder to ignite and resist wear and damage. •

  • Choose clothing that allows freedom of movement and covers all areas of exposed skin.

  • Wear long sleeved shirts (no t-shirts), and button the cuffs, pockets, and collar. They will protect your arms and neck from radiation exposure and skin burns (caused by ultraviolet radiation from the arc). •

  • Wear heavy, durable, long pants (no shorts) without cuffs that overlap the tops of your boots. •

  • Keep clothing dry. Change it when needed (this reduces the possibility of electric shock). •

  • Be aware that any cuffs or open pockets can catch flying sparks and start on fire easily. Unroll cuffs and button pockets to prevent spark entry. •

  • Keep clothing clean (free of oil, grease, or solvents which may catch fire and burn easily).

  • Keep it in good repair (no holes, tears, or frayed edges). Always follow the manufacturer's directions for their use, care, and maintenance. •

  • Remove all flammables and matches and cigarette lighters from your pockets. •

  • Do not wear synthetic (man-made) fabrics because they may burn easily, melt, stick to your skin, and cause serious burns. •

  • Wear leather aprons, leggings, capes and sleeves as needed for the application. Leather protects better than most materials.