Neglecting to wear proper welding protection might seem harmless, until a piece of slag ends up burning through your favorite t-shirt and possibly your skin, when you'll wish you had taken the extra ten seconds to gear up with the appropriate products. Over the years certain welding safety manufacturers, such as Miller, have made great strides in not only creating products that offer protection but also comfort and style.
Head & Face Protection
Your eyes are irreplaceable - wearing the proper head and face protection is essential while welding. Welding helmets have dramatically evolved; the days of heavy flip-up/flip-down helmets being your only option are gone. Many helmets today offer a wide range of darkening shades, sensitivity controls, reaction speeds and a number of other 'bells and whistles to accommodate any application and budget. Also, sparks and spatter have no trouble at all finding their way behind your helmet so it's always advisable to wear ear plugs, welding beanie, and safety glasses.
Hand & Body Protection
Like head protection, safety apparel has made great strides in increasing operator comfort and safety by incorporating new, lightweight materials and ergonomic designs. Since your hand is probably the closest thing to the arc, it is best to choose a glove based on your application: Stick, MIG, TIG, and Metalworking. Welding jackets are available in many different fabrics (flame-resistant cloth, leather) and styles (full coverage, cape sleeves, sleeves). Depending on both your application and environment, your proper body protection will vary. Lastly, choose a leather shoe that covers your entire foot and leaves as little room possible for spatter to fall in along your ankle line.