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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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  #1  
Old 27 Jul 2008
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Welders and welding goggles...

Hey team

Not sure if this is the right category, but.... just a thought.

We've been in Africa for 7 months now. In that time I've had welding done about 10 times (I know, I know, too much crap in the panniers!)... About half the time these guys have had nothing better than a small opaque piece of glass to hold near the burning inferno, ''protecting'' their eyes - and often it looks like the boss aint about to spash on on protecting them properly.

As a moron in most matters practical, I'm unsure if these guys are damaging their eyes irreversibly (feedback welcome). It looks like it to me, and I'm not so comfortable being a part of that. So next time I travel, I'm taking a few sets of glasses to hand around. I think they're next to nothing on EBay.

cheerio
Gareth
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  #2  
Old 27 Jul 2008
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They are probably using the shaded glass out of a welding hood. I have to admit I am guilty of doing the same thing from time to time. You take a great risk of getting you face burned by a hot piece of slag, or worse yet, getting one in your eye that could blind you. I have done this because I was in too big of a hurry to change out the cheater (prescription lense) in my father-in-laws welding hood.
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  #3  
Old 27 Jul 2008
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Welding protection

If they are doing welding with an electric welder with a wire clamped to the broken part and a hand held stick that melts into the repair.....they need a #10 grade shield. That is what the system is here in the states. Yes there is eye damage possible but it also depends on how much amperage is being used. I have burned my skin just from the rays coming off the welding so I always use the complete hood. There are no goggles sold here to use for arc welding, they are all the full hood with a replaceable dark glass sheild or the high priced electronicaly darkening ones. If gas welding is being done with a torch the shield needs to be a #5 and the rays are much less damaging. Some folks use extra dark sunglasses. Good on you for caring about these guys eyes.
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  #4  
Old 27 Jul 2008
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Bill's right ,if those guys are arc welding they need a shade 10 lens in a proper hood .
Arc plash is painful and most learn very quickly to protect their eyes.
A lot of the fellas I've seen welding in Africa had made their own hoods out of plastic , cardboard or wood .
About the best way to help out would be to buy a bunch of plastic shade 10 lenses and hand one to the guy doing the work ,or buy a cheap welding hood at the next big town and mail it to him , [ hoping his boss doesn't steal it ] .
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Old 27 Jul 2008
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Thumbs down A reality check

An interesting quick response from the "western world": you are not going to change the other 98% of the world (give or take) that get on with things in their own way. I currently work in central Asia, in, on and around construction sites (not anything directly to do with me). On a daily basis steel is cut, bent, welded and generally buggered around with, including applying red lead paint. The average salary is somewhere around $2US per hour I am informed, and people are queuing up to be hired. Most of the work force wear flip-flops and they work 12-14 hour days for that money - locations where cutting and welding are going on are best avoided - every man for themselves. Most folk work for central Asian sub-contractors employed by Turkish "front" firms which have no visible assets or company directors.

C'est La Vie.
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  #6  
Old 27 Jul 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
An interesting quick response from the "western world": you are not going to change the other 98% of the world (give or take) that get on with things in their own way. I currently work in central Asia, in, on and around construction sites (not anything directly to do with me). On a daily basis steel is cut, bent, welded and generally buggered around with, including applying red lead paint. The average salary is somewhere around $2US per hour I am informed, and people are queuing up to be hired. Most of the work force wear flip-flops and they work 12-14 hour days for that money - locations where cutting and welding are going on are best avoided - every man for themselves. Most folk work for central Asian sub-contractors employed by Turkish "front" firms which have no visible assets or company directors.

C'est La Vie.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and we buy the cheap goods they produce in the UK!! the hypocracy of it.

all you can do is do your bit - if you can manage to carry a few +10 filters and give them out where you can - i don't think they'd use the masks anyway.

Well done for even thinking about the potential problem
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not too hard really
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  #7  
Old 27 Jul 2008
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As a matter of fact ,there are still sweatshops around here that work for the oil and gas industry where safety and health are by-passed so as to get the job done cheaper .
Welding and grinding done on old paint and chemical residue , the "git er dun " attitude is prevalent and some guys are actually proud of ruining their health .
I could never understand the mentality .
So it's not just a third world phenomenon .

The guys who work on my crew get the best gear I can find for them -regardless of cost .

One of the guys who used to work with us retired to Mexico , we sent safety glasses and weld helmets down there to help out some of the Mexican welders when he saw the conditions they had to work in .

You just do the best you can , if you help just one person , then that's a bonus .
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  #8  
Old 28 Jul 2008
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Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
About the best way to help out would be to buy a bunch of plastic shade 10 lenses and hand one to the guy doing the work
A great idea! These can be had from commercial suppliers for around $3-4 (USD) and could probably be purchased for much less from eBay or wholesale suppliers.
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  #9  
Old 28 Jul 2008
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Walkabout has it right there. It is standard practice in Mexico and CA too for small weldshop workers to just hold a #10 glass in front of their eyes. Heck , some don't even do that- they get their electrode lined up and close their eyes for the short stitch welds when making light stuff like doors and window frames, seen it lots and lots of times. The more professional types do use proper welders helmets.
Just using the #10 lens alone does stop direct eyeball radiation but does little to prevent eye injury from reflected arc rays. Eventually this will catch up to them. And of course skin burns .
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