I remember more than one occasion of getting flash burn. I used to weld Tuna Towers on some big boats. 38'-64'.Hanging off the side welding over head with a very touchie micro switch taped to the torch head on a rocking boat and no auto darkening hat it was hard not to flash your self. I used wet tea bags to take the sand paper sting out. Worked good but left a funny stain on my face. ******************Just Saying******************G***************************
I was working on a job and there was this older guy (was a college prof. once) was welding some iron stair railings with no helmet. When I asked him shouldn't he be wearing a helmet he said no "I 'm used to it". Same guy was using 12 ga. romex as an extension for his welder (220 V)!
Near enough to 70 to sneeze at it. But I still got all 10 fingers and 10 toes and I can still see. Must be doing something right. Been a maintenance man since before OSHA existed, where we had to wear steel toed shoes and hard hats while working around melted iron. The "pipe shop" (foundry) days...
I wanted to comment on protecting your eyes. My family had a blind person (from childhood) and until I started grammar school I thought some people could see and some couldn't. Then I started school and found out how strange that made me. Wanna try it? Wear a blindfold for a full day, from rising till bedtime. That's what being blind is. If you can stand it, you're a better man than me.
Don't buy that stuff about not needing a helmet. The UV radiation is very bad, including for ungloved hands. I was working at the Techshop (a cooperative workspace), and there was this old curmudgeon welding in the space next to me. He had the curtain pulled back so I was getting reflections from some shiny sheet metal stacked on the wall. When I walked over and pulled the curtain all the way shut, he came up real close to me and tried to school me on how reflected rays are harmless. Rather than argue with him, I just said it was distracting, and I was one of those easily distracted younger generation types (snowflakes, I guess you call them). Really, UV rays are strange. They can reflect off things that you would never suspect, then you gat that horrid gritty feeling in your eyes.
Cucumbers? Tea bags? I've always used slices of Potato, I suppose you could use a Rutabaga in a pinch, anything cool and damp makes the sand paper go away. We had some stuff at work called Eye-Ease, it had tetrahydrozolene as the active ingredient, the same thing as in Visene eye drops but much stronger. Best not to get burned in the first place, my eye doctor said long term UV exposure can cause cataracts.
On another note re welding safety, I really hope EVERYONE knows that chlorinated solvents (e.g. brake cleaner) and welding arcs is a LETHAL cocktail, even the UV radiated (never mind the spark and red/white heat) creates phosgene, a nasty war gas that almost took my grandpa - if you get even a whiff of new-mown grass while welding you probably need immediate medical attention
Doing some welding the other day and must have hit the darkening switch on my welding bucket when I flipped it up. Got all set to strike another arc, nodded my head to lower the bucket and struck the arc. Normally I have issues finding the seam,my glasses aren't quite in the right position but this time everything was crystal clear, until I figgered out the lense didn't darken. Luckily the glass was just dark enough and I realized what was going on before too long.
Another time I was welding in a shop I worked at, I lifted the bucket to notice the guys looking at me and laughing. Somehow a spark shot out a few feet off to the side of me, catching a 5 gallon bucket of garbage on fire.
We used to get a bit mean spirited at a railcar shop I worked at. I was sitting on the floor inside of a steel coal car welding in a stiffener. For some reason, I looked up and saw one of my buddies looking into the car over the side grinning. I went back to welding......then it hit! It felt like a wasp stung my butt and kept getting worse. I started rolling around cussing and confused. What those a-holes were doing goes like this......one guy was on a ladder watching me and guiding another guy with a BIG rosebud under the car. He finally hit his mark and heated my butt up.
Vengeance was promptly dealt. The rosebud guy got die penetrant sprayed into a hot pile of slag under him while under a car scarfing out some crap. He came rolling out from under the car in a hurry when it flamed up. The guy guiding him got an ammonia inhaler crunched up in the intake of his PAPR (air hood) while he was welding some manganese. I have never seen a hood come off that fast in my life.