Hum - at one point (the ground return) there is low voltage unless you are in AC
From that point to the stick or the torch or the ..... end where the metal is
being welded or cut the voltage varies from min to max where max is what the unit
is asked to generate minus some losses...
If that is less than 20 some odd volts then it is safe if you don't have high
RF arc start voltage running like in a tig to kick start.
I'd say simply, if the shoes are insulated, and you have gloves you are
If your hand is on the far side of the GND or return cable from the stick or
then there isn't a voltage potential. You are always a current drop if there is
voltage. You might make a circuit, but your Gnd cable better be lower in
than you are.
All that said, insulate well and yes if due caution is used.
You might mention if you are Tig, Mig, Stick, Plasma .....