Sometimes your husband or wife may throw tantrums for not wearing your wedding ring while going to work. And sometimes you just don’t want to take off your ring or other pieces of jewelry for sentimental reasons. But, if you work with metal, you must ensure safety around sensitive electrical equipment. So, you might be thinking, is it safe to wear jewelry while welding?
The short answer is no. It is best to remove all types of jewelry before you go out to weld. Keep them at your home or put them in the locker of your workplace. Any piece of jewelry can cause severe accidents or ruin the weld. So, it’s better to take it off.
There are a few factors in play that contribute to why you should not wear jewelry while welding. If you are unsure about what these factors are then you’ve come to the right place! Keep on reading till the end to have a proper idea of welding safety.
Factors that Affect You while Welding with Jewelry On
When you weld using different types of machinery multiple factors may harm your jewelry and you as well. These injuries are rare but when they occur people pay the price in terms of hands, wrists, or fingers.
Some workers say that they never encountered such scenarios and it is fine to wear jewelry. But others have different and scary stories. So, it is better to be safe than sorry. Given below, are a few major factors that promote that harm.
Machines and Grinders
Welding machines could have small or big gears or grinders depending on their size. For example, an arc welding machine has big blades or cutting tools. They are used to slice metallic sheets or smooth them out. Also, if you weld for a job, then I’m pretty sure you are surrounded by tons of other machinery with all sorts of cogs and wheels besides welders.
So, if you have jewelry on while using these machines, they can get stuck between these gears. You can already picture the devastating consequence of your fingers getting crushed beneath the grinders. This issue is especially high when wearing loose jewelry like necklaces and bracelets.
Hence, it is better to take that ring or necklace off lest you want to work without your ring finger. Other small pieces of jewelry worn on the face like earrings are a bit safer.
While working with welding tools it is common for things to get hot. The welder and the grounding clamp through which current passes can get very hot very quickly. As a result, if you got jewelry on, things could get ugly.
Especially metallic bracelets and rings are a big no-no because they conduct heat fast and cause severe burns on your fingers or hands. Other jewelry like earrings, nose rings can get hot but they remain much further away so they are relatively safe.
Spillage and Fumes
Welders can diffuse different types of fumes around you. These can cause severe degradation of your health and jewelry.
Toxic chemicals can spill on your valuable bracelets or rings and corrode them. The reason is that these toxic chemicals and fumes have degrading properties which react with the metallic composition of your jewelry.
Welders have different wires connected around the main box and through the material you’re working on via ground clamps. Ground clamps are important for welders to keep the power running around and insulating the material such that you do not get zapped.
Metal jewelry can come in contact with these electrical parts or faulty ground clamps and cause severe burns on your hands. Worst case scenario, thousands of volts pass through you and you get admitted to a hospital. Fatalities are common around electrical equipment.
Can Your Jewelry Affect Your Welding Quality?
Working with jewelry can affect your welding negatively. It hinders your working capabilities and makes you susceptible to different hazards. Here are a few reasons why.
- Wearing loose jewelry like long chains, loose stones, finicky bracelets can make welding challenging. You would have to be careful to not weld your jewelry instead of the material you’re working on.
- The metallic compounds of the jewelry you are wearing might have conductive elements. Especially if they are metallic, you could be in grave danger. As welding generates a lot of heat, your rings and bracelets get super-hot. Gold can melt if subjected to high temperatures and spill on to your welds.
- Jewelry is also a great conductor of electricity. They can damage or destroy your equipment by creating power surges through unwanted conduction. Hence, you should just take off your jewelry and avoid these unnecessary risks.
As a professional, you want the best for your work and your working equipment. Wearing jewelry while welding can ruin your weld and also cause damage to your machinery. So, it is best you take off that ring before working on the welder.
Can Piercings Be An Issue While Welding?
No, there’s not much problem in wearing piercings depending on the area of your body. If it is away from the working space and equipment you’re using then it is quite alright.
Piercings in welding is a tricky topic. If you’re working in risky environments full of electrical machines, pieces of jewelry are a big no-no. But, if piercings have quite a good distance between you and the TIG welder then it is less risky. Just make sure you maintain the distance.
The likelihood of injury from piercings is close to nil but the probability still exists. Some companies have strict policies for piercings too. Be careful about that.
Also, try to keep your piercings to a bare minimum. Avoid any type of body piercings. The most preferable places to do piercings would be the face and ears. They remain furthest away from your welding machine.
The biggest risk piercings possess would be electrocution from things like high-frequency TIG welding. That is why you should avoid any chest piercings as they can conduct electricity because of distance.
Additionally, welding machines can create strong electromagnetic fields which create small charges on your piercings. But these EMF fluxes become weaker and weaker with the increase of distance. So, as long as you’re not drifting over your welding machine, the risk is significantly less.
That is why you should wear your PPE gear. They cover your piercings. A well-protective welding helmet will stop any type of electric or heat conduction. But some employees or employers would still recommend you to not take that small chance. So, unless you can’t take off your piercings it is best to cover them.
So, the bottom line is, avoiding multiple piercings especially on the hands and torso, and maintaining distance between the machines and piercings. And never forget to wear protective gear around your body, hands, and head. Follow these minor adjustments and you will be almost risk-free.
In summary, avoid wearing jewelry around large grinders and machines. Overheating, spillage, and electrocution are big problems if you are wearing metallic jewelry so take them off. Jewelry can further damage your equipment and welding machine as well. Piercings are less risky especially if you have them on your face.
Just make sure they are neatly covered in your PPE and avoid several piercings on the body and hands. Hopefully, this article helped you answer the question, is it safe to wear jewelry while welding? If you’ve read this far, then I greatly appreciate making time to read this. Hope to see you soon in the next article. Stay well and weld safely!