Thursday, April 12, 2012


Fibre-Metal by Honeywell has produced the first real improvements in ADF lenses since their inception more than 30 years ago.

As the welding industry recovers, companies are looking to technology to help increase productivity to make them more competitive. While most of the focus is on processes and equipment, a recent technological breakthrough in auto darkening filters (ADF) by Honeywell will contribute to increased welder productivity on a par with any other advancement.

Unlike other PPE, a welding helmet is considered a tool of the trade. A welder cannot work without it and must wear it all shift long. The impact a welders helmet has on productivity cannot be over stated yet is frequently overlooked. 

When ADF’s were introduced to the trade, they improved protection by allowing a welding helmet to remain in the “down” position throughout the stages of the welding process. But their real value was the ways they helped a welder reduce downtime and increase productivity. For the first time, at start up, welders had both hands free to position the work piece and place electrodes in the crucial start position. Precision was improved resulting in more good welds, less grinding and increased productivity.

However, once the ADF switched to its “dark shade” and welding commenced, welders had the same limited, often murky view of their work they had with passive filter lenses. Poor electronics in some ADF’s added numerous optical flaws, and an inherent characteristic of the liquid crystals in the lenses resulted in “angle dependency” which was uneven shading and a halo of light or light spots at the periphery of the lens. Welders were often distracted or hindered by the optical flaws which offset the productivity improvements at start up.

Early supplier marketing campaigns focused on switching speed, how fast the ADF switched from its light to dark state to draw attention away from the optical flaws of their lenses. But switching speed occurs instantaneously as the arc is struck. It plays no role whatsoever in a welders productivity. Subsequent entrants into the ADF market focused on cheapening the lens which just made the optical quality worse and adding gimmicks to their helmets like graphics, “3 in 1”, side view panels, CO2 valves, none of which improved welder productivity in any way.

Now the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell brand has introduced the first real technological advancement in ADF lenses since their inception. Their patented advancements drastically improve the optical quality of the lens to give a welder a bigger, more consistent, clearer view of his work.  The FIBRE-METAL TIGERHOOD FUTURA XXL provides a full 10.2 square inch field of vision which is 40% bigger than most other lenses. Most importantly, the expanded viewing area provides consistent shading over the entire surface area. The patented ADC (Angle Dependency Compensation) Plus and proprietary new, high-tech liquid crystal technology built into the lens eliminates angle dependency. A welder can assume any work position necessary without adversely affecting his view of his work.

The optical clarity of the XXL ADF with ADC Plus lens is extraordinary. A welder sees a clear, distortion free view of his work with brighter color definition and in near natural color. A bigger field of vision with better visibility allows a welder to stay on the job longer and produce more and better welds with less downtime.

Other ADF brands have introduced “extra-large” ADF lenses but with less than satisfactory results. Some may even have a slightly larger physical lens size. But those that had angle dependency in their smaller lenses have it even worse in their large lenses which greatly reduces the functional size of their lenses. Brands that have optical flaws in their smaller ADF’s have them to a greater degree in their larger lenses. Only the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell TIGERHOOD FUTURA XXL ADF provides a greater viewing area, with improved optical quality and no angle dependency. The fact that the XXL ADF is installed in the traditional top quality FIBRE-METAL TIGERHOOD FUTURA welding helmet with its welder preferred classic 3-C headgear makes it a perfect blend of tradition and innovation.

But our role is not to promote any brand over any other. Our role is to provide information, keep you informed of what is new, and give you our opinion of it.  The Fibre-Metal by Honeywell TIGERHOOD FUTURA XXL is a truly remarkable advancement in ADF welding helmets. To borrow from Fox News, “we report, you decide”. Don’t take our word for it, try a FIBRE-METAL TIGERHOOD FUTURA XXL on your job, under your working conditions. Compare it with what you are using or what you may be considering using. If you like something better, by all means buy it.

In closing, just a word about brand comparison. Like many other products, there is a glut of ADF brands on the market today. You cannot compare them all so it is wise to narrow the field down to a “choice set” of brands from which you will make your choice. In the ADF market today, in our opinion, the “big boy” ADF brands for serious production welders who weld for a living are Fibre-Metal by Honeywell, Jackson by Kimberly Clark, SPEEDGLAS by 3M and Sellstrom Manufacturing. These brands were the pioneers in ADF technology and they have been the leading welding helmet manufacturers, producing every significant advancement in welding helmets for decades. If you compare and make your selection from among these brands, you will be sure of a quality product.

Eliminate the ADF welding helmets sold by welding machine manufacturers. They are the leading producers of quality welding machines but they import helmets and ADF’s from China or Taiwan, cover them in graphics, and try to superimpose the brand equity from their machine brands to the helmets. It doesn’t work. Also eliminate distributor “store” brands. They too are by and large imports from China or Taiwan and do not compare with the top brands. Finally, ignore the multitude of ADF brands from China that are available on the Internet or through direct resellers. The quality, service life and support simply are not there.

Do your homework. Only consider the best and most reliable brands. Make a wise ADF buying decision and you will see your welding productivity increase by 30% to 50%.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


If nothing else, this blog has consistently talked about the importance of QUALITY in every aspect of PPE. We’ve done posts on PPE design, material, workmanship and performance quality. We’ve talked about only dealing with quality manufacturers and suppliers; we’ve stated the need for quality support materials and training. Now, we would like to talk about the quality of the sales and customer service people customers come in contact with as they move through the PPE buying and after sale process.

Safety in general and PPE specifically are complex disciplines with a lot of moving parts. Safety sales, marketing and customer service personnel need a high level of technical and regulatory expertise to establish credibility in helping customers make the best possible buying decision.

But how do customers distinguish a true safety equipment professional from general industrial sales representatives? Trial and error can be a long and costly process. They need something to give them an early indication of the qualifications and skill set of sales people they engage with before the sales cycle gets too far along. There is a way to help with the sorting out process.

PPE products that meet a certain standard contain an ANSI designation; manufacturers that go the extra mile to assure their quality earn an SEI designation; and supplier sales, customer service and marketing people who take an intensive training course designed to enhance participant expertise and knowledge in critical technical and regulatory areas of occupational health & safety, pass a comprehensive Competency Exam, and have at least two years experience, are certified as Qualified Safety Sales Professionals and can use the designation QSSP.

The course, taught by an experienced faculty of safety professionals, covers core elements of occupational health and safety including industrial hygiene in one intensive, week-long session. Participants gain proficiency in fundamentals of occupational health and safety; industrial hygiene, risk management, safety engineering, health and safety regulations, workers comp, the full range of safety equipment and how to integrate it all into their customers' needs.

Today, more than1000 sales and marketing representatives in the safety equipment industry are Qualified Safety Sales Professionals. They represent the quality segment of their profession. When evaluating potential suppliers, the presence of QSSP certified contact people should go on the plus side of the ledger. This is not to imply that only QSSP sales and service reps are competent to satisfy a customer’s PPE needs. There are many top notch, highly professional and competent sales and customer service reps in the industry with years of experience and tons of expertise. But if you want to be sure you are dealing with a “pro”, the QSSP designation is a good place to start. A Directory of QSSP Graduates is available at:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy New Year!

Since their inception, auto darkening filter lenses (ADF) for welding have gone through a number of phases as producers sought a differential competitive advantage. First, it was "switching speed", how fast the lenses switched from their light to dark state. But when it was determined that all major brands switched many times faster than the human eye can see and switching occurs at the instant welding commences and plays no further role in the welding process, switching speed became an expected feature rather than a differentiator.

Once the switching speed phase passed, new suppliers, looking to break into the market and establish a position, started marketing elaborate shell graphics. Graphics caught on in certain segments of the market (casual welders, home hobbyists) but it was soon learned that often the most attractive graphics masked a flimsy, inferior helmet and a low quality, poor functioning ADF. In addition, in any kind of real, industrial welding environment, the graphics quickly turned brown or gray. So serious production welders learned to look beyond graphics and look for quality, durable helmets with high performance ADF's to help them do their jobs better.

The "gimmick" phase followed the "graphics" phase. Unable to enhance the basic ADF technology, some manufacturers resorted to gimmicks to try to set their products apart from the field. "3 in 1", shade 5 side panels, exhalation valves, flashing display lights and a host of other gimmicks flooded the market. But none of them helped a welder be more productive by making more and better welds with fewer accidents.

It is important to note that none of the ADF phases improved the basic function of the lens or the most important ADF attribute - the optical quality of the lens. Once the arc is struck, the ability of a welder to see his work clearly with no distortion determines his ability to produce,safely. From the beginning, a number of the major ADF lenses had numerous optical quality flaws. Poor lens clarity resulted in shadowing, fluttering, halo-effects around the edges of the lens, and "image persistence."  Image persistence, for example, occurs during stick welding when the shower of sparks persists as images in the lens (like tracers). Those distractions expose a welder to a higher level of risk than is necessary.

So all of the phases ADF's have passed through have essentially missed the mark. Welders want a top quality lens with as large of a viewing area as possible. To date, no supplier has been able to put those attributes together. The ADF's initially plagued with optical flaws, still have the flaws. And attempts to increase viewing area has been mostly done with smoke and mirrors. At first, the overall size of the lens was increased but not all of it was "active". Only a small portion of it actually turned dark while the surrounding area remained at a fixed shade. More recent attempts to increase viewing areas have resulted in even worse optical flaws. ADF's with angle dependency have even worse angle dependency in larger size lenses.

But there is some good news. Fibre-Metal by Honeywell, a top quality ADF supplier, now provides the only ADF in the world with a perfect optical quality EN standard rating of 1/1/1/1. That means the lens performs at the highest level in every measurable optical quality characteristic including, and especially angle dependency. That is the only real, practical, improvement in ADF technology since its inception. The Fibre-Metal by Honeywell ADF lens allows a welder to see more clearly, with no distracting flaws, and in more natural colors. Most importantly, he can use the entire viewing area because the lens is angle dependency free.

The trend toward larger ADF lens viewing areas will no doubt continue. But enhanced lens size without the requisite optical quality is useless. Learn to distinguish between the physical size of the lens (usually measured in square inches) vs the functional viewing area measured by how much of the lens is actually usable.

January is a good month to review the ADF's you are using. Are they the best that they could be? Do they actually help your welders be more productive with less downtime and fewer injuries? Talk to your and other suppliers. What improvements have they made in their ADF's? What are they working on? Compare what is available. If you are not using the highest optical quality ADF, with the largest functional viewing area, you are not getting all of the value you should be getting. The start of a new year is a good time to change that.

Friday, October 28, 2011


In prior posts we talked about the hazards of exposure to extreme cold temperatures and the fact that OSHA now considers cold related injuries and illnesses recordable events.

In this post, we talk about the PPE available today to prevent those cold related injuries and illnesses. Over the past decade or so, cold protection related technology and materials have advanced to a new level. In the process, the quality difference between the top products and the glut of cheap imports has widened even more.

It is well known that a great deal of natural body warmth is lost through the head. Therefore, it is critical to have effective head coverings to conserve natural body heat. The primary products for doing that are protective hat and cap "winter liners".  The winter liner quality leader, in our view, is Fibre-Metal by Honeywell ULTRAWARM series. While most winter liner suppliers were racing to the bottom to see who could import the cheapest winter liners from Taiwan, the Fibre-Metal brand worked with domestic material innovators to develop lighter, less bulky and warmer materials and with new technology to not only conserve natural heat, but provide a source of additional warming.

The resulting Fibre-Metal by Honeywell ULTRAWARM brand products are state-of-the-art protection from the hazards of extreme cold. Their designs cover more exposed skin areas; their materials are durable on the outside and lightweight and are more comfortable on the inside. Their ability to provide additional warmth further separates them from lesser brands in several ways.

ULTRAWARM winter liners are manufactured using a heat channel that covers the inside width of the winter liner. This allows oxygen activated heat packs to be placed in any area around the head or neck – not just over the ears like lesser brands. When used without the heating element, the channel adds an extra layer of warmth completely around the inside of the liner. The heat channel design is so unique that it is patented,

The heat packs fit easily into the channels of each liner, providing hours of comfortable warmth to the user. The heat packs are ready to use, just remove the outer protective package and shake vigorous to air activate the all natural ingredients in each pack.

A subtle design difference further sets Fibre-Metal by Honeywell ULTRAWARM winter liners apart from lesser brands. More than 75% of all protective hats and caps used today contain a ratchet headband. With a standard design liner, the rear attachment tab is located directly over the ratchet adjustment knob. If the tab is left unsnapped, the winter liner is not securely attached to the caps headband. If it is force snapped over the adjustment knob, the wearer cannot adjust the tension without removing the tab.

All ULTRAWARM brand winter liners have an exclusive offset rear cap attachment  tab design that does not interfere with ratchet adjustment knobs. They are universal fit and are designed to be used with most leading brands of Protective Caps. When installed properly, they stay snugly in place for maximum comfort and warmth without interfering with the protective performance of the cap.

Because Fibre-Metal by Honeywell brand winter liners are made in the USA (perhaps the only brand that still is), there is a huge logistics advantage. Cheap, imported winter liners have to be ordered from the manufacturer close to a year in advance. That forces the importer to accurately forecast what they will sell for the entire winter. Often the user has to place large minimum orders and must carry excessive inventory all season long. Once the winter liners are produced and shipped, that is it........there cannot be any refill orders if they guessed wrong. That means you could be left without winter liner protection later in the winter when you need it most.

With ULTRAWARM liners, if demand exceeds supply, they just produce some more and you can order and reorder in whatever quantity you want without having to carry huge inventories.

Fibre-Metal by Honeywell offers a full range of Winter Liners to suit your climate, working conditions, and your budget with a quality of workmanship that extends service life to make them an exceptional value. Your investment in top quality ULTRAWARM liners will be returned many times over in increased productivity, improved morale, and reduced risk.

The ULTRAWARM series also includes neckwarmers, turtlenecks and headbands plus heating packets for shoes and boots. Fibre-Metal by Honeywell ULTRAWARM products truly protect from the cold and warm wearers from head-to-toe.

As always, we borrow a line from Fox News, "we report, your decide". Look around - if there are other brands that provide all that the ULTRAWARM brand does, take a look at it, try it out. Determine what works best for you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Although most of the buzz is about auto darkening filter lenses today, most welders still use passive filter plates in their welding helmets. But the actual filter plate is just part of what should be considered as a protective weld viewing package or "system". For the best results, the components of the weld viewing system should come from the manufacturer of the welding helmet being used. Components designed and produced to work together perform better than trying to combine components from different sources.

Like all PPE, weld viewing system components may appear to be alike but there are significant differences in material, workmanship and performance. Moreover, there are many viewing system products that are mislabeled and are not at all what they are claimed to be.

While there are numerous weld viewing system component suppliers, there are very few full system suppliers that can provide a full package. Perhaps the best system available today is the Fibre-Metal brand by Honeywell. Every component in the Fibre-Metal passive protective weld viewing system is unique, top quality, and works together as a system with precision not available in other brands.

The Fibre-Metal brand system begins with their top quality welding helmets made from unique materials in exclusive designs. Their attention to detail in both their front loading stationary and lift-front viewing system holders sets them apart from the others.

The Fibre-Metal by Honeywell brand uses the brand name "High Performance" for their passive weld viewing system components. The illustration above shows the proper component "stack" for a lift-front helmet model. The stack begins with a HIGH PERFORMANCE model CR.39 cover plate. The cover plate performs the very important task of protecting the more expensive filter plate. It must be able to withstand welding sparks and spatter, physical abuse like scratches and abrasions and the contaminants of a welding environment. CR. 39 is the material best suited for those tasks. Other materials, like cheap "all plastics", simply don't hold up. And polycarbonate, while a great impact resistant material for a safety plate, is adversely affected by many substances related to welding and should not be used for a cover plate.

While many cover plate brands are labeled "CR. 39", they vary in terms of the amount of the actual CR. 39 material contained in the product. The Fibre-Metal by Honeywell HIGH PERFORMANCE CR. 39 cover plates contain the highest actual percentage of CR. 39 material of any brand which makes them the top performers with the longest service life.

Next in the stack is the actual passive filter plate. The HIGH PERFORMANCE gold plated filter lenses from Fibre-Metal reflect harmful radiation rather than absorbing it. The high quality gold coating also reflects heat which helps keep a welder cooler and more comfortable. There are other brands of gold coated filter plates but only the HIGH PERFORMANCE brand allows a welder to see his work in pure natural color. A more comfortable, better protected welder with a better view of his work will stay on the job longer and produce more with fewer rejects. An abrasion resistant coating and a unique picture frame buffer are additional quality touches.

If a degree of magnification is required, the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell HIGH PERFORMANCE protective viewing system includes one piece, injection molded magnifiers in a wide range of diopters. The optically correct magnifiers provide the ability to view a magnified work area from a normal 12" welding position. Most lesser brands require a welder to move to within 6" of his work to achieve the magnification. The magnifiers are hard coated to reduce scratching for a longer service life.

The last component of the system is the HIGH PERFORMANCE safety plate. Injection molded, optically correct, lightweight, impact resistant polycarbonate safety plates provide an extra margin of protection. The safety plate is the last line of protection in the welding helmet from flying objects. Of course, protective spectacles are the primary eye protection and should be worn at all times under a welding helmet.

Because all components of the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell HIGH PERFORMANCE weld viewing system are either cast (CR. 39) or injection molded, the optical correctness and optical quality are far superior to products that are cut or stamped from sheets. The optical flaws in lesser products can cause eye irritation, headaches and fatigue.

The reason polycarbonate should be used in a safety plate but not a cover plate is positioning in the stack. The cover plate is the most exposed component to the welding elements while the safety plate is the most protected. The cover plate, filter plate and welding helmet shell all shield the safety plate from the things that can adversely affect it.

Once again, it pays to look beyond the surface, dig a little deeper and get past the "they are all alike" mind set when considering the passive weld viewing package you use or provide your workforce. Think of it as a "system" that should consist of the best components designed together to work together. Upgrading can result in fewer injuries, improved productivity and increased profitability.

Friday, September 9, 2011


When combining a faceshield with a protective cap it is usually better to wear the cap in the reverse position so that the faceshield is positioned as close to the wearers face and eyes as possible. But for some applications it is necessary to mount the faceshield on the peak of the cap to get a better seal from dust, dirt, sparks and debris.

Most face and eye injuries today are not high impact, blow back injuries where a flying object blasts right through a faceshield. The highest frequency of face and eye injuries are caused by high volume small objects filtering through the faceshield deflector/window seal, or between the faceshield crown and a protective cap worn in the reverse position. A peak mount faceshield can protect from those types of hazards.

But not all peak mount faceshields are the same. Early single channel models and a lot of poorly designed models today do not provide the degree and type of protection required. The Fibre-Metal Products Company, now a Honeywell Safety brand, pioneered a dual channel design, with a unique Channel Grip method of attaching a faceshield window in conjunction with a large northeast shipyard that was having heavy eye injuries in their hull grinding operation.

At the time, most, if not all, faceshield windows were attached to the deflector with snaps. No matter how many snaps were used or how heavy duty the snaps, they did not seal the window to the deflector and there were gaps between the snaps where debris from the high speed grinding operation filtered in. The Fibre-Metal sales and engineering team, working with the shipyards safety team, came up with a unique way to mount a window that did not involve snaps and created a leak proof seal between the window and the deflector.

The unique window mounting design stopped dust, dirt, sparks and debris from filtering between the window and the deflector but there was also another problem. When the faceshields were lifted to an overhead rest position, debris that had accumulated on the deflector was dumped into the wearers face and eyes. To protect from that, Fibre-Metal and the shipyard came up with a dual-channel design .

The base channel, designed to the exact curvature of a protective caps peak, forms a perfect seal with the peak and is anchored securely in place by a strong, resilient band. The upper channel can be easily and smoothly moved to a rest position and held there by a self locking friction joint. If any debris is dumped off in the process, it is blocked by the base channel. When the upper channel is returned to the work position, it snaps and locks firmly to the base channel for an extra margin of protection.

The Fibre-Metal brand by Honeywell provides a fully dielectric model molded from NORYL, the same material as their top selling TIGERHOOD welding helmets, which allows it to be used in a wide range of applications where faceshields made from lesser materials would fail. They also provide a rugged, lightweight aluminum model for extreme jobsite environments. The most common applications for this type of faceshield are heavy duty grinding, machining, finishing operations in steel mills, fabricating shops, and similar operations.

In addition to the two cap mount dual channel models, Fibre-Metal by Honeywell also provides a model for full brim protective hats.

This style is popular with construction workers, especially road crews who use jack hammers, cut rebar and guard rails along with many other operations that produce high volume dirt, dust, sparks and debris.

If you are providing face protection for mounting on head protection, and you are still experiencing a high frequency of eye injuries, perhaps you could benefit from an advanced dual channel Channel Grip, peak mounting faceshield system.  If you decide to use that style of faceshield, look at as many brands as you can. Compare them with the Fibre-Metal brand by Honeywell. If another brand better satisfies your needs, use it. But from our experience, the unique design and high quality of the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell dual channel peak mount faceshields make them a good choice.

This blog post is for information only. It is not an endorsement of any product for any purpose. The information provided is the opinion and experience of the writer and is the latest and best information available at the time of posting. The selection of any PPE product for any purpose is the sole responsibility of on site, competent safety officials. All information presented here should be verified by the manufacturer as part of the evaluation process. Failure to do so could result in injury or death.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Employers are required by law to use mechanical means to extract air contaminants wherever feasible. But welding related contaminants are the hardest to extract and many times repair welding is done in remote or confined areas where extraction systems are not present or effective. If a qualified Industrial Hygienist or other qualified safety official determines that welders exposure to air contaminants still exceeds accepted standards, respirators are required

We have stayed away from respiratory PPE posts because respiratory protection is a complex process best left to experts. But we can try to make you aware that there is respiratory PPE that can be used in a welding operation. Why is that of interest? Because there are more than 80 different types of welding and associated processes. Each produces some kind of respiratory hazards. Dust, smoke, fumes, gases, or vapors are present in varying concentrations and combinations in virtually every welding environment. It is estimated that nearly 1 million people may be exposed to welding fumes or other related respiratory hazards while doing their jobs.

OSHA and NIOSH use a PPE metric called the “utilization rate”. It is a measure of how many workers use a type of PPE versus the number who are required to use it by law. The utilization rate for respirators over all is only about 30%. For welders, it is probably only half of that.

The reasons for the low respirator utilization rate include welders claims that they are so uncomfortable they cannot do their jobs, and to an even greater degree, employers are not aware of respirators with adequate protection that fit comfortably under welding helmets.

Part of the blame lies with welding helmet manufacturers. The trend in recent years from the low end suppliers and importers has been to produce smaller shells that fit closer to the welders face. That kept the price down and lowered the weight especially in ADF equipped models. But it also trapped smoke and fumes inside of the helmet because air could not circulate to help clear them out. The smaller more narrow shells will also not accommodate a respirator. Because ADF equipped welding helmets stay in the down, work position longer, without being lifted to allow smoke and fumes to clear, the build-up can be substantial.

The top quality, traditional welding helmet brands, like Fibre-Metal by Honeywell, who build products up to a standard instead of down to a price, do not have either the design or fit problems. Both the Fibre-Metal TIGERHOOD and FUTURA brands were designed by welders for welders with an eye toward the need for room for eye protection and respiratory protection. Their designs allow for maximum air circulation with room at the top for smoke and fumes to escape, and their shapes are full at the bottom to fit comfortably over a respirator with the appropriate filters.

North by Honeywell, the leading brand of respirators, produces several types of respirators that protect from the respiratory hazards of welding and fit comfortably under Fibre-Metal by Honeywell brand helmets.

From left to right are disposable, limited use and low maintenance, and half mask with special low profile"pancake" filters respirators from North.  Each type and model fits comfortably under Fibre-Metal brand TIGERHOOD Classic and Futura model welding helmets to give you the widest selection of styles and degrees of protection available.

The graphic at the beginning of this post shows a Fibre-Metal/North by Honeywell PAPR system for welding. A powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) is a motorized system that uses a blower to pull ambient air through one or more filters to clean it before it is delivered to the breathing zone of the user. A PAPR system typically includes a blower, battery, headpiece and a breathing tube.

PAPR systems can provide a higher level of respiratory protection than non-powered air filtering respirators. Their constant flow of air may help provide a feeling of coolness resulting in greater comfort for the welder. Because a battery-powered blower pulls the air through the filter there is no additional breathing resistance to the wearer. PAPR's are used in extreme welding conditions or where qualified safety officials determine they allow welders to be more productive. They are perhaps the fastest growing type of welding respiratory protection. Again, the combination of the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell welding helmet quality and North by Honeywell respiratory technology and quality have resulted in the PAPR most welders prefer.

Selecting appropriate respiratory protection is as important and difficult as deciding whether respiratory protection is needed in the first place. The selection process can be complex and time-consuming. Deciding the type of respirator that is appropriate for a given situation requires understanding the job-specific variables, including the identity and concentration of contaminants that are present (or may be present) in the work area. The safety director or industrial hygienist must understand the different types of respirators and their protective capabilities to determine the options that exist. Other factors, including worker health, worker comfort, training and preference should also be taken into consideration.

Most personal protective equipment manufacturers offer recommendations on choosing respirators. These recommendations may be available as an online or published guide, or may even take the form of an onsite analysis of the workplace. Regardless of these recommendations, it is ultimately the responsibility of the employer to ensure that proper respirators are being used for worker protection, and that they meet all local, state and federal regulations.

If you work in or are responsible for a welding operation, you may need to take another look at your respiratory hazards and your need for appropriate PPE. But as we said earlier, considering a respiratory protection program requires the use of experts. A good place to begin or to gather information is NIOSH at OSHA also has good information at  The North by Honeywell Respiratory Protection catalog at is also a good source of information on the products discussed here.

The need for and selection of respirators is best left to the experts. But this blog post shows you that there are respirators that fit under and work well with quality welding helmets.

This blog post is informational only. The author relied on information from secondary sources available at the time of its posting. The author is in no way liable for the accuracy of the contents. Anyone considering the use of respiratory protection must enlist the assistance of experts to help determine the presence of hazards and the appropriate protection from them. Failure to do so could result in injury or death.