How Important Are Welding Curtains When It Comes To Health And Safety?

In almost every industry today, strict health and safety protections are in place designed to protect workers and cover every eventuality where someone could be injured.

Welding is one of the industries where injury is prevalent. According to the latest Health and Safety Executive statistics, approximately 40-50 welders are injured each year in the UK with acute and chronic health problems arising from breathing in welding fumes. Many have to be hospitalised.

However, this is not the only way in which injury and illness can occur after welding, and here we will explain why it is so important to use a welding screen when working and why it is essential to take advice from a company experienced in the production and supply of high-quality strip curtain welding screens.

What are the health risks of welding?

Acute respiratory health risks can arise from breathing in metal fumes immediately after welding without any protection. These can include:

  • Irritation to the throat and larger airways to the lungs when gases and other particles cause dryness in the throat with coughing and chest tightness. When TIG welding aluminium and stainless steel, ozone and nitrous oxide are produced into the air, repeated exposure to ozone can cause fluid in the lungs.
  • Metal fume fever is an issue for some welders who often get flu-like symptoms from exposure to mild steel welding.
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia, caused by breathing in fumes, can cause severe and sometimes fatal (in vulnerable people) pneumonia. HSE reported that this kills about two welders each year.
  • In rare cases breathing in irritants can cause asthma to develop.
  • Chronic health risks from welding without a protective strip curtain welding screen include COPD, welder’s lung, lung cancer and occupational asthma.

Aside from the obvious danger from welding fumes, health issues and injury can arise from other welding effects such as welding flash, sparks and heat.


Allergic contact dermatitis can develop when nickel and chromium are released. Skin can be exposed to ultraviolet radiation, while reddening is the most common skin problem, often caused by flash burns.


Arc-eye is an injury to the cornea following exposure to welding radiation, and the eye will become red and painful after welding. A rare eye cancer called ocular melanoma can be caused by ultraviolet radiation from welding.

Neurological problems:

More serious is the neurological effect similar to Parkinson’s disease, which can be caused by long-term breathing in manganese particles in mild steel welding fumes.

What are welding curtains?

A welding curtain is usually made from strong PVC with in-built thermal protection, such as flame-retardant chemicals, to prevent the curtain from catching fire if it comes into contact with stray welding sparks. They are essential in keeping workers safe from hazardous and radiant emissions. They are needed in any workspace which does not have a separate or enclosed welding area.

A good welding curtain will have characteristics vital for protection, including:

  • Resistance to hazardous chemicals and fumes
  • Resistance to flames, sparks and heat damage
  • Tensile strength and tear-resistant
  • Resistance to mould and mildew.

The benefits of installing a welding screen

Welding is one of the most dangerous occupations, with many opportunities for acute and chronic harm and injury to welders; however, an additional benefit is the protection it offers to other workers who work near the area but are not involved in welding and who could be affected by the high temperatures produced by the welding process.

Written by Frederick Jace

A passionate Blogger and a Full time Tech writer. SEO and Content Writer Expert since 2015.

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