What Is Welding Flash?

Welding flash is a critical process used in a wide range of industries, yet so few of us understand its importance. With over 6 million welders in the US alone, Welding flash aids in everything from construction to electronics.

From airplanes to iPads, nearly every product in the world uses welding flash to join and/or secure components. It’s estimated that welding flash joining can be up to 90% stronger than other welding techniques and can reduce the cost of production drastically with its efficiency.

Impressive, isn’t it? But if you want to understand the importance of welding flash, it’s important to understand how it works.

What is Welding Flash?

Welding Flash, also known as arc eye, is an eye condition caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation emitted during electric arc welding.

This harsh light can cause a range of negative health effects, including irritation and burning of the eye, severe discomfort, or even blindness in extreme cases. To protect welders from these effects, all welding work should be done according to industry safety regulations and with the proper eye and face protection.

Eye Damage From Welding Flash

Welding flash can cause inflammation and pain in the eye that can lead to redness, tearing, and blurred vision.

According to the National Eye Institute, exposure to electric arc welding can cause a condition called arc eye, or photokeratitis, which is a form of temporary blindness due to sunburn of the cornea. In addition to the pain and discomfort of arc eye, the American Welder’s Association notes that symptoms of arc eye can persist for days or even weeks and may be accompanied by headache, fever, and general fatigue. In extremely serious cases, permanent eye damage can occur as a result of welding flash.

Preventing Welding Flash

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide welders and other workers with appropriate eye and face protection to prevent welding flash. In general, personal protective equipment (PPE) may include tinted eye protection, a face shield, and even a welding helmet or filter plate to reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

OSHA also specifies that employers must provide education and training to ensure that employees are aware of the dangerous risks associated with welding flash.


Welding flash can cause serious damage to the eyes, ranging from temporary blindness to permanent damage. In order to help protect welders from the risk of eye injury, employers should provide appropriate personal protective equipment and training so that workers can understand the hazards associated with welding flash.

Citation URL:https://www. nei.

nih. gov/health/ultraviolet-radiationhttps://www. aws. org/technical/facts/arc-eyehttps://www. osha. gov/SLTC/arcwelding/eye_protection. html

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