Were You Injured in a Welding Accident?
Every profession has its share of occupational hazards. Tradesmen who use welding tools are no exception. Unfortunately, welding accidents can cause severe and permanent injuries. Learn some of the risks and protective actions you might use to avoid them.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), welding, cutting, and brazing activities represent health and safety risks to more than 500,000 workers nationally. If your employment involves any of these skills, you may work in the construction field. You could be a steel or iron worker or be employed in the sheet metal industry as a tin knocker. Machine shops and auto body shops all use welding equipment. Some welders work through labor union assignment. Additionally, welding is an assigned task for many private businesses.
The Dangers that Lead to Welding Accidents
If you are not convinced that welding accidents present danger, this fact should concern you. Statistically, welders stand a one in 250 chance of a fatal accident related to their occupation. That does not include the number of welding accidents that do not result in death.
The Bureau of Labor provides quick facts about the duties of welders. The profession involves the use of hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers also fill holes, indentations, or seams of metal products.
What makes this type of profession so dangerous? You can guess that the use of heat leads to injuries. We’ll break it down more completely:
- Welding Burns: It is easy to understand how welding burns can occur. Obviously, the combination of heated metal and high-temperature welding arcs are dangerous. It’s not just that the molten materials can burn your skin. Your eyes are also at risk in a welding accident.
- Ultraviolet Radiation (UV): Workers who use welding tools should be aware that the electric arc can result in UV light exposure. This is the same type of light that causes sunburns. Eyes can also suffer severe burns as a consequence of this kind of exposure. This is a profoundly painful injury.
- Infrared Radiation (IR): Prolonged exposure to infrared radiation can cause injuries to both the skin and eyes. In most cases, these type of injuries occurs when the arc is in close proximately to the worker.
- Intense Visible Light: By its definition, visible light is considered a type of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. When it is intense, welders may experience damage to their corneas and retinas. The long-term effects can be permanent.
Avoiding Welding Accidents
Whether you went to welding school or received on the job training, you need to be aware of some protective measures for your own safety. We’ll give you a quick breakdown:
- Always use safety goggles. Repeat, always.
- Wear clothing that shields you from harm.
- Use head protection.
- Make sure that your face, ears, and neck are also covered.
- Gloves should also be used to avoid hand exposure.
Presumably, you have learned safety techniques when using welding tools. Do not take any shortcuts to get the job done faster. Safety should always be first.
Injured in a Welding Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a welding accident, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone can discuss your legal remedies with you. We have experience assisting all types of injured workers. Contact us to learn about the pursuit of a workers’ compensation claim or another type of legal action.