Unique Hazards In Welding
Welding, cutting, and brazing have unique safety and health risks which affect over 500,000 workers in various industries throughout the United States. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), these workers are more than four times more likely to die on the job than other workers.
OSHA estimates that 562,000 American workers are exposed to chemical and physical hazards of welding, cutting, and brazing, which include:
- Crushing injuries
- Welder’s flash (burns to the eyes)
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Lung cancer
- Metal fume fever
- Flash burns
- Parkinson’s disease
- Hearing loss
While welding may be more dangerous than most other trades, most welding accidents are preventable when the proper safety precautions are in place and followed at all times. Flames may be the most obvious welding hazard, but the inhalation of harmful gases and chemicals are much more common. Regardless of whether you suffered a work-related physical injury or developed an occupational illness, you are entitled to financial compensation through workers’ compensation, a personal injury lawsuit, or both.
How Can Welding Accidents Be Prevented?
OSHA has provided a series of safety precautions which can greatly reduce the risk of welding injuries:
- Work in safely ventilated areas to reduce the risk of inhaling poisonous gases or fine airborne particles
- Wear proper safety equipment at all times, including safety goggles, proper shoes, full face-shields, and heat-resistant gloves
- Only allow authorized, trained personnel to use welding, brazing, soldering, or cutting equipment
- Always have at least one fire extinguisher nearby
There’s no excuse for an employer’s failure to make sure his workplace is in compliance with all safety standards at all times. But far too often, a disregard for worker safety can lead to preventable accidents and serious injuries.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in a welding accident or developed an illness due to exposure to toxic substances on the job, it’s important to seek out financial compensation. Your injury or illness could result in unmanageable medical bills and prevent you from returning to work temporarily or permanently. Becoming a professional welder takes hard work – you shouldn’t have to suffer alone because someone else’s negligence caused you to get hurt or sick.
Seeking financial compensation for a construction work injury is different than it is for other occupations. While you’re usually not permitted to sue your employer even if they were at fault, there are other third parties who could be held liable if they caused your accident through negligence. For example, if you were injured because of defective safety equipment, the equipment manufacturer could be held liable in a products liability lawsuit.
Even though you’re entitled to workers’ compensation, employers may attempt to limit your benefits, force you back to work too soon, or deny that your condition is work-related. This is why it’s often necessary to have a lawyer to represent you against your employer and their insurance company.
The construction injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, McManus, and Moverman can help you secure all available forms of financial compensation. To find out more about how you get the support you need, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.