Welders and people who spend a lot of time in welding shops face several chemical and physical hazards, which lead to the need for PPE. You can never be too careful when doing welding work, so instead of being sorry, you should wear essential safety gear to prevent injuries. Your head, particularly, needs proper protection from sparks and spatter produced during welding.
Such personal protective equipment includes a welding cap that is primarily used to keep your head and hair safe while welding. Welding caps come in different shapes and sizes, and they are generally used as an alternative to welding helmets if you need to do some light work. However, most are worn with a helmet to offer extra protection and to reduce the discomfort inflicted by the welding helmet.
The caps feature different designs, but most have a pointy top and flowery pattern, making them favorite to even people who don’t weld but feel good under one. Also, pipe fitters, boilermakers, and iron workers use welding caps due to the nature of their job.
Why do you need a welding cap?
The primary purpose of wearing a welding cap is to protect the welder’s head, ears, and neck from flying sparks. While you will still need a face shield and a welding helmet to protect your eyes and face, a welding cap helps to provide some form of cushioning to your head. Aside from the cushioning function, the cap offers protection from ultraviolet radiation produced during welding as well as protection from direct sunlight.
ii. Heat retardant/flame resistant properties
Welding caps are designed with heat retardant properties to help to protect your head from excessive heat. Also, they are made to be thick enough to prevent slag and spatter from penetrating and scalding your skin, especially when you are doing a lot of overhead tasks. Moreover, most caps come with a sweatband to help to absorb sweat and wick any moisture away so that it doesn’t get in your way while working.
iii. Lightweight and comfortable
Generally, they are made from high-quality materials, preferably cotton, to make them comfortable and light when worn over the head. Cotton is not slippery, so you don’t have to struggle to keep the cap in place. The outer material is made to have a bit more traction so that the helmet doesn’t slip off. They are also designed to allow air to flow through to keep you fresh when wearing the cap.
iv. The flaps
Welding caps have flaps on the side to help protect not just your head but also the neck all the way to your collar area. Ideally, the extended flaps increase the head area covered while welding. In addition, they feature a multiple-panel design to make them easy to fit, and the welder can even tuck in the hair if needed, and you can wear them for long hours until you finish your tasks. Welders often wear the cap with the visor facing backward so that it doesn’t interfere with their vision.
Criteria for choosing a welding cap
- Welding cap should be made of cotton and sewn with a cotton thread so that it does not catch fire easily.
- The best welding cap should have multiple layers. Multiple layers or panels make it easy for the cap to conform to any skull structure. Most are tailor-made to meet welder’s specific needs.
- Also, ensure to get a cap that fits well. Not too tight, not too loose. So, it is always a good idea to get one with adjustment features such as an elastic band to ensure the best fit.
- The welding cap should be designed to cover our neck area partially, and also it should have extra cloth to arrest sweat run-offs. Basically, the cap should offer some form of breath ability, either in form of an insert that absorbs sweat or ventilation holes.
While having a welding cap may not be a “compulsory” safety requirement, this equipment is a safety measure in itself, and getting one is an excellent addition to your gear in this field. You cannot underestimate the flaps that help to cover most parts of your upper body while also making an unusual fashion statement. So if you work on-field for extended hours, it is always a good idea to wear a welding cap to provide comfort and additional security. However, ensure that the cap is comfortable and usable and the best quality available.
You may also want to read about Welding Defects and Types, Causes and Remedies.