When someone decides to get a job in welding, they may think about adding fun and interesting stickers or decals to their welding helmet. While placing a sticker on your welding helmet might not seem like it’s dangerous or against OSHA standards, it might be causing more harm than good. Knowing the right way to decorate your welding helmet is critical for safety.
Can you put stickers on a welding helmet? According to OSHA standards, they are not fully disallowed, but there are some concerns. They make it clear that stickers should be few and properly placed. The owner must prove that the helmet stickers aren’t interfering with safety in any way and aren’t covering up any dents or cracks in the helmet.
Before you toss on your favorite stickers, you need to know the facts. In this article, you will learn how to properly place stickers on your welding helmet and what to ultimately avoid. This will keep you out of trouble with OSHA (or your boss) and make sure that your safety is not being compromised.
Can You Put Stickers on a Welding Helmet?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, doesn’t make it entirely clear whether or not they think it’s safe for someone to put stickers on their welding helmet.
However, they make it very well known that there are a few things to keep in mind when putting stickers on your welding helmet.
Stickers Should Be Kept to a Minimum
One thing that has been mentioned time and time again is that stickers on welding helmets should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Now, this isn’t necessarily due to the fact that the influx of stickers will stop the helmet from protecting you. The helmet is still able to protect, regardless of the number of stickers (in most cases).
The problem arises when there are too many stickers that a proper inspection can’t take place.
If you are getting ready for a big job and your helmet appears to be intact and ready to go, then you won’t think twice about it. But did you ever stop to think that there may be a crack or dent underneath the stickers that you simply can’t see?
This is a major safety hazard that can be avoided if you simply stick to using fewer stickers on your helmet.
Stickers Can Affect the Material the Helmet is Made From
There are certain products used in stickers that create the adhesive. This is great for when you want to attach stickers to all your favorite things, including posters, cars, and welding helmets, but a problem arises when the adhesive materials are incompatible with the material that the welding helmet is made from.
Unfortunately, some adhesives can have a highly negative impact on welding helmets.
The adhesive properties will essentially ‘attack’ the material of the welding helmet, especially if it’s made of some sort of plastic.
Over time, the welding helmet will weaken in the area in which the sticker was placed.
A weakened helmet means there is a higher risk of getting hurt while on the job. So, be careful if you are going to place stickers on your welding helmet. They may be incompatible and cause a safety concern.
The best thing to do is double-check that the materials used in the adhesive comply with the material from which your welding helmet was made. This will lessen the overall risk of weakening the helmet which is something nobody wants.
Stickers Can Eliminate Electric Resistance
According to OSHA standards, stickers have the potential to eliminate electric resistance. This concern isn’t high on the list, though, because it’s a very rare occurrence that a sticker could have this type of impact on a professional welding helmet.
However, it is still a concern that is brought up by OSHA as a potential safety hazard of placing stickers on a welding helmet. But is it enough to stop you from placing stickers on your helmet?
Sticker Placement is Crucial
If you are dead set on placing stickers on your welding helmet, there are a few dos and don’ts that should be followed in terms of placement.
Proper placement will ensure that there is less of a chance of anything negative happening with your welding helmet.
When placing stickers on your welding helmet, keep these things in mind:
Always make sure that the stickers are at least ⅓ inch away from the edge of the helmet.
Keeping the stickers further away from the helmet’s edges will ensure that they do not have any sort of negative impact on the helmet.
This also reduces the chances of the stickers having overhangs that can be downright annoying and distracting while welding.
The stickers should not obstruct your vision.
This might go without saying, but placing a sticker in the line of vision is a big no-no. As a welder, you’re working with some pretty critical equipment that can be a big issue if you can’t see. Always keep the stickers away from your face.
Don’t place too many stickers.
This point cannot be stressed enough.
Too many stickers can lead to a weakened helmet because you cannot see or know about a crack or dent in the helmet. So, keep the stickers to a minimum.
Never try to conceal a crack or dent with a sticker.
Some people might try to cover up a small, barely noticeable crack with a sticker.
After all, welding helmets aren’t cheap, and it can set you back financially to replace one. However, you don’t want to save money by compromising your safety.
Check with Your Boss When it Comes to Stickers
As mentioned previously, OSHA doesn’t come right out and say ‘NO’ to welding helmet stickers. There are some pretty major concerns regarding these stickers, though, and that should always be considered when placing on your welding helmet.
If you are unsure, your best bet is to check with your boss and do a thorough inspection of your helmet to ensure it’s in good working order.
As long as you and your boss can inspect the helmet and see that the stickers are not causing any safety hazards, then you should have no problem welding while proudly showcasing your favorite stickers and decals.
Alternative to Stickers: Pad Printing
If the risk isn’t worth the reward when it comes to placing stickers on your welding helmet, there is a much better and safer option for you to decorate your helmet without worrying about your safety.
The top alternative to stickers is known as pad printing. With this process, the logo or decal of your choosing will actually be printed directly to your welding helmet.
This means that you don’t have to worry about adhesives weakening your helmet. The pad printed ‘sticker’ also won’t fade, peel, or crack, which means it will last much longer.
In summary, you should be cautious when placing stickers on your welding helmet. You don’t want too many stickers, and they definitely shouldn’t be in the way of your vision or hanging off the edges.
Stickers can cause your helmet to weaken if the material doesn’t agree with it, and, over time, the stickers will crack or fade, which is a problem in itself.
Always inspect your helmet when choosing to add stickers or take the safer route and choose pad printing.