What are the causes of welding accidents?
Welders risk many workplace accidents including:
- Electrical shock. Electrical shock is one of the most common accidents welders face. It can be caused when two metal parts that have a voltage between them touch or by secondary voltage shock where the welder touches part of the welding or electrical circuit at the same time his body touches a part of the metal he is welding.
- Exposure to fumes and gases. Welders are exposed daily to toxic welding fumes and gases, such as harmful metal oxide compounds, base metals, and base metal coatings, and minerals like manganese that can cause respiratory illnesses.
- Excessive noise. Welders can be exposed to dangerous noise levels—above 85 decibels averaged during their workday—and flying debris that can penetrate their ear canals.
- Fires and explosions. Because of the high heat of the welding arc and the hazardous fumes, gases, and chemicals welders work with, they face a serious risk of being injured or killed in a fire or other explosion.
- Optical hazards. Sparks and hot metal drops can saturate the air and injure welder’s eyes. In addition, welders risk welder’s flash, eye arc, and flash burns—caused by ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the electrical arc in the welding process.
- Difficult work environments. Welders must often work long hours in cramped working environments where their bodies are in awkward positions for lengthy periods.
- Hot metals. Welders are exposed to extremely hot metals, such as molten metals and hot slag, causing them to suffer serious burns.
What are the injuries welders can suffer?
The dangers that welders are exposed to daily can cause life-altering injuries or result in their deaths. Some of these injuries include:
- Eye damage, vision loss, and blindness
- Electrical shocks and burns
- Severe burns that can be life-threatening
- Hearing loss and deafness
- Lung damage
- Brain damage
- Nerve damage
- Skin lacerations
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Crushed toes and fingers
- Welders’ Parkinson’s Disease
Source: Hart Law firm www.thehartlawfirm.com