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Welder’s Flash

By August 15, 2016 Safety Blog

This week, Safety Mark took the staff aside to talk about a very present danger in our environment, welder’s flash.  Welder’s flash is caused but the UV radiation over a broad range of wavelengths given off by a walking arc.  He advised that certain types of UV radiation can produce an injury to the eye surface and mucous membrane.  Welder’s flash can present symptoms ranging from pain and a mild feeling of pressure in the eyes, all the way to a severe level of pain.  People suffering from welder’s flash often experience tearing and reddening of the eyes and surrounding areas, a sensation of having sand in ones and an abnormal sensitivity to light.  In addition, some suffers develop photo-phobia and have difficult looking at light sources.


He explained that there are several factors that are calculated to make a ‘perfect storm’ resulting in a welder’s flash.  But assured everybody that just a few second of UV light can cause and arc to the eye and symptoms may not be felt until several hours after the exposure.


When a person has long-term exposure to UV light, the can develop cataracts.  A person’s iris can become overwhelmed with the very bright light and develop an inability to sufficiently close the eye lid.  This could then develop a chronic fatigue of the eye.


The big picture today was to make certain that everybody is wearing proper welder’s shields.  There are also screens between stations to prevent a peripheral UV arc from a neighboring welder.  All of our safety glasses have a level of UV coating to help prevent an accidental flash from afar.  So even a forklift driver is wearing these glasses when driving through the factory.

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