This is not a comprehensive guide. There are many ways in which welding can damage your health. The main points are:

1. Protect all skin from UV light

2. Closing your eyes for a few sneaky tacks will not prevent arc eye

3. Work in a well ventilated area (extraction fans not blowing fans as those would blow your shielding gas away).

4. Wear a vapour mask if your extraction isn't great.

5. Be careful not to have flammable stuff nearby. Welding sparks can travel a long distance.

6. The light generated by MIG welding is extremely bright. Looking directly at a welding arc even for a short time causes arc eye when the bright flash from the arc burns the cornea. The cornea is very sensitive to sun burn.

7. The fumes from flux cored gasless wire and ARC welding are nasty. Stainless gives off chromium, MIG and TIG arcs give off ozone. Welding should be carried out in a well ventilated area.

8.The metal you weld stays hot for a good while. Most of the burns have been caused by forgetting this and picking up a hot piece of metal with bare hands.

9. Aluminium alloy vapour and fumes from zinc coatings are poisonous. Exposure can result in heavy metal poisoning (welding shivers) - flu like symptoms that can persist for a few days.

10. Any sawdust, paper or plastic bags in the area can smolder and catch fire so keep a tidy area for welding.

11. Keep a fire extinguisher beside the exit door from your workshop. CO2 is the best type for welding. A bucket of sand is also a good idea.

12. Make sure you buy decent goggles with impact resistant lenses and without direct air breathing holes.

13. Fumes & Gases may cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.