The first step in plasma cutter eye protection is to read the operators manual.
The plasma arc cutting process results in:
1. Radiant energy that can harm the eyes in the form of very bright light.
2. Radiant energy in the form of heat that can harm the eyes.
3. Molten metal discharged from the kerf that can harm the eyes.
Eye protection must be adequate to protect the eyes from the bright light, heat, and metal spatter. The following is exerpted from the OSHA regulations.
The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses equipment with filter lenses that have a shade number appropriate for the work being performed for protection from injurious light radiation. The following is a listing of appropriate shade numbers for various operations.
Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy
Plasma Arc Cutting
Light - less than 300 amps requires shade 8
Medium - 300-400 amps require shade 9
Heavy - 400-800 amps require shade 10