Welding is a process of fusing two pieces of metal together by using heat. The metal gets melted in the process so that it can be bonded together. As you can imagine, this job requires extensive training beforehand, but even so, it still poses a significant risk. Statistically, over 1 in 250 workers suffer fatal injuries while welding, or may develop a deadly illness; however, non-fatal injuries are much more common.
Common welding-related injuries:
- Burns. Welders work with extremely high temperatures, and sometimes they come into contact with hot surfaces and materials. As such, using proper safety equipment is vital.
- Eye damage. The electric arc created through welding emits ultraviolet radiation (UV) which is very harmful to the eye, but it can also damage the skin. Exposure to UV leads to a condition known as “arc-eye,” a dangerous and often untreatable condition. Also, extended exposure to the intense light generated by the electric arc while welding can cause severe retinal damage.
- Electrocution. Welding workers are often required to work with or around high voltage wires and equipment.
- Inhalation of toxic fumes and gases. The act of welding releases harmful chemicals that, when inhaled over a long period, can lead to serious conditions such as bronchitis or manganese poisoning. Inhalation can also cause temporary dizziness which is especially dangerous when working on elevated platforms because it can easily lead to falls.
However, most accidents and injuries on a work site can be prevented. Welding injuries can be prevented by:
- Providing proper training
- Providing adequate safety equipment: eye protection, full face shield, gloves, and clothing equipment specifically designed for this job
- Proper ventilation in the workspace that prevents the workers from inhaling the toxic fumes
- Keeping flammable materials away from the work area to minimize the risks of explosions and fires
If you have been injured due to unsafe working conditions, you can receive financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and related expenses. At O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm, we can help you. We have more than 25 years of experience representing cases like yours, and we have helped countless people in your situation. Call us today at 916.714.8200 and schedule your free consultation.