"Do not look at the welders"

Why not?

Is this common knowledge?


Yes. This is why the welders themselves wear protective gear and a mask/goggles.

I’m afraid it’s a rule I CANNOT abide.


One summer in college I worked in a sheet metal shop. My mother was vice president of the mechanical contracting company, and I was given the relativey cushy job of foreman’s assistant, which meant that I drove a lot of deliveries. Jimmy, the foreman, was beyond paranoid about my welfare. No matter what was actually going on in the shop, no matter what I was doing, not a day went by without Jimmy hollering at me, “Don’t look at the welding!” or “Watch out for the torch!” or “Be careful, that’s sharp!”

I think the happiest day of his life was the day I went back to school.


Most of the people that come into our shop are aware that looking directly at the arc is dangerous.

Ha! jarbabyj was the first one I thought of when I read this!

I was watching CMT last night, and the video for “Waiting on Joe” came on (can’t remember the artist). Peanut and I started picking apart the video - why didn’t the guy hop on the ferry without Joe, etc. etc. One of Peanut’s gripes was that the singer looked RIGHT AT a guy who was welding. Dude should be blind!

No, I don’t think we take music videos too seriously. Why?

Well, I’m an idiot…
Somehow 31 years have passed and I never got the memo?

What’s next, you’ll tell me not to microwave my underwire bras?
Smoke while gassing up?
Feed the animals?

Don’t look directly into the trap…

…or cross the streams. That would be bad.

Arc welding generates much of its radiation in the ultraviolet region. UV is linked to causing cataracts and retinal damage.

Anyone ever seen the MST3K where they have one of those short public service thingies before the movie? A guy’s welding, and another guy goes up and slaps him on the shoulder and gets blinded for life. HA! Classic stuff.

I guess if you haven’t seen it, I just sound like an idiot.

I’ve never seen the video in question, but you can briefly look at the arc without suffering ill effects, I’ve done it once or twice. Just no staring. And make that look very brief.

My dad burned his retinas when a photosensitive mask he was wearing malfunctioned. He didn’t lose sight but he was in an incredible amount of pain for a while. Not pretty.

I think this a true story - A few years ago a pipeline was being constructed in Australia which went across farmland that had herds of cows grazing on it. The cows were supplied with dark glasses to prevent eye damage because cows being very inquisitive were taking a keen interest in the pipe welding.

It’s called “The Days of Our Years.” It’s on Shorts Vol. 2. Glad to see I’m not the only person who thought of that one.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I offer this brief synopsis: In a Midwestern railroad town, the local priest ponders the tragedy of life, focusing on three people who wallow in regret. The first, a young woman, married her fiance after he snapped his neck in a truck accident and was miserable because he “had changed.” The second, an elderly man nearing retirement, killed his best friend accidentally after suffering a heart attack soon after he started his engine one afternoon. He spent the rest of his life on the porch, staring at his best friend’s family across the street.

The final story focuses on a careless young welder whose wife was in labor. He came back to work after driving her to the hospital and all proceeded normally until The Call came. Elated, our young dope broke out the cigars and began passing them out to his co-workers during work hours. Alas, he forgot one of the cardinal rules of welding: Don’t startle a welder holding a lit torch. Things proceed as Jayrot has described and the young man spends the rest of his life sitting on his front yard picking up things his infant son has dropped. The end. Let us pray.

Of course, when the careless young welder slapped his co-worker, the other guy held the torch in his face for several long seconds. Guy’s lucky he didn’t lose his whole face.

What a great story!
If it’s true, the ad execs at Ray-BanTM missed a major marketing opp.

Electric welding arcs put out a lot of ultra violet. I one was project engineer on a device that involved considerable welding. I wanted to see whether or not our design was easy to make so I watched a welder assembling one for the better part of two hours one day. I had a mask but my top shirt buttons were open and I got a real “sunburn” that hurt like hell for a couple of days.

That’s one reason why welders wear big gloves, long sleeved shirts, collars buttoned up etc. Of course those things also protect against molten sparks from going down your neck or up your sleeves.

Yes welding produces ultraviolet as well as infrared rays that can damage your peepers.

jarbabyj baby I’m taking a welding course now

This time next year I’ll be just off work, tired fom a long satisfying day ,leaning on my truck real cool like drinking something cold…


So non-arc welding (i.e., with a very hot flame) does not require eye protection? Well, other than goggles tp prevent white hard shards of metal.

Whoops, for got to finish. To prevernt white hot shards of metal from going into your eyes.