Cutting-edge welding helmets an investment in apprentice safety

Ai Group Apprentice and Trainee Centre (Ai Group ATC) has shown it’s ahead of the game when it comes to safety by providing welding apprentices with top-of-the-range protective helmets.  

In a move that benefits both apprentice and host company, Ai Group is supplying helmets fitted with a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) System to ensure its welding apprentices breathe fresh, filtered air when welding or grinding and their eyes are protected from welder’s flash and foreign objects. 

Ai Group ATC WHS Adviser WA/SA Tony Scarinci said apprentice safety was paramount.  

“We want parents to know we’re looking after their kids in the workplace,” he said. 

“Welding can expose workers to fumes, so we’ve invested in this equipment to minimise that risk.”

Ai Group Apprentice & Trainee Centre apprentice Nathan Roylance — hosted to CNH Industrial — tries on the new helmet, with the help of Ai Group ATC Employment and Training Consultant Jessica Mitchell.

Host companies are thrilled with Ai Group’s initiative but are also being held accountable to do their part in keeping apprentices safe at work.  

“We are assisting employers to provide a safer workplace, without a doubt,” Mr Scarinci said. 

“At the same time, we carry out inspections to make sure they are doing all they can to provide safe workplaces for apprentice welders.” 

Welding is a skill in high demand. 

“Defence industries, particularly here in South Australia, are screaming for welders,” Mr Scarinci said. 

“However, welding fumes are regarded as hazardous regardless of what material is being worked on, and long-term exposure can lead to chronic illness. 

“These masks will alleviate the safety concerns parents may have, especially those who were welders themselves and may be reluctant to encourage their kids to follow in their footsteps.” 

Ai Group ATC apprentices whose training requires them to perform regular welding tasks are being supplied the protective headwear, particularly where host employers are not equipped with other fume-management equipment.  

Apprentices are also given training to ensure they wear and maintain the helmets correctly. 

Those who complete their Ai Group ATC apprenticeship are allowed to keep the $1200 piece of kit, purchased from Tool Kit Depot in Melbourne.

“We’re mitigating safety risks by supplying these helmets and by providing the pastoral care that we offer as part of the Ai Group experience to support apprenticeship completion,” Mr Scarinci said.  

“The helmets might soon be mandated in legislation, but they’re not as yet, so we’re ahead of the game in terms of safety. 

“We’re investing in safety, and you can’t beat that.” 

Interested in apprenticeship opportunities? Ccontact the Ai Group ATC or phone 1300 761 944.