I hope this helps you new as well as experienced welders to prevent injury.
I have arc (stick) welded for over 30 years. One day I was sitting on a milk
crate in the yard welding a home made bike carrier for the truck. Every now and
then the rod would stick to the job, and a quick yank on the rod holder would
break it free. Normal practice.
One time, all of a sudden, I was falling over backwards, getting shocked like
never before. When it stopped, I got up and felt like my teeth were going to
fall out. I Had a 1' long burn mark about 1" from my right eye!
Aparently what happened was that when I wiggled the rod holder to free the
stuck rod, it didn't come loose, so I gave it a bigger pull, and it started to
lift the work up, then released, putting me off balance, and as I fell
backwards, my helmet fell off, just before the rod, came into contact with my
face, and started me dancing. I could see where the rod made a track accross my
upper cheek, and down to my shirt sleeve, where it burned thru.
Thank God, one inch up, and it would have fried my eye!
This is a true, freek story, that could happen to anyone, so BE CAREFULL.
If the rod doesn't unstick at first, just release it from the rod holder. Damn,
I love hind sight. And still having 2 eyes!