Risks Associated With Welding
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has stated that “welding, cutting, and brazing are hazardous activities which pose a unique combination of both safety and health risks to over 500,000 workers in a variety of industries. The risk from fatal injuries alone is more than four deaths per thousand workers over a working lifetime.”
As this statement indicates, welding can be an incredibly risky profession. In the construction industry, a burn to the eyes from welding called ‘welders flash,’ accounts for about 5.6% of all construction eye injuries as well. Injuries most commonly sustained by welders fall under 6 general categories:
- Fires (from sparks or ignited, flammable fumes and materials)
- Eye injuries
- Health hazards due to exposure to fumes, gases, and ionizing radiation
Additionally, it has been noted by NIOSH that “excesses in morbidity and mortality among welders appear to exist even when exposures have been reported to be below current OSHA [limits[ for the many individual components of welding emissions.” There is no denying the fact that welding poses many serious threats to an individual’s health.
I’ve Suffered Injuries At Work While Welding. What Should I Do?
Of all the areas of the construction industry, welding has recently become one of the most regulated because of its significant dangers. Anyone who works in welding knows well the many precautionary practices that go along with the process. If you’ve been injured in a welding accident, you are among many, and there is help available to you.
Even if you have not suffered physical injuries, you may be experiencing side effects from years of breathing in welding fumes. Welding fumes have been linked to several health problems and negative side effects. These can appear suddenly, or gradually over time. You may be unsure that the problems you are experiencing are linked to welding, and this can be evaluated by a professional.
After any construction accident, it’s important to seek medical attention for both yourself, and anyone else who was involved. After evaluating your injuries and getting any necessary initial treatments, it’s important to reach out to an experienced welding attorney to defend your rights.
It’s a good idea to refrain from accepting workers’ compensation for your injuries until you have explored all of your legal rights to compensation. In general, compensation in a lawsuit greatly surpasses the level of monetary support that workers’ compensation can provide, and agreeing to workers’ compensation actually prevents you from suing your employer, although third-party lawsuits will remain an option.
Can I File A Welding Injury Lawsuit?
Welding lawsuits are commonplace today, and those who have been injured are often able to receive the support and compensation that they deserve.
As reported by EHS Today, a federal jury in Cleveland awarded a welder with $20.5 million in 2007. The welder had worked in San Francisco for 26 years, and had begun experiencing several neurological symptoms in 2001. The symptoms became progressively worse until 2004, when he became permanently disabled. In this specific case, the alleged cause was the manganese that comes out of fumes while welding.
Additional information has surfaced showing that long-term exposure to welding fumes can also result in the early development of Parkinson’s Disease, again due to the manganese within the fumes.
If you or someone you love have been injured or are suffering from strange health problems after welding as a profession or working around welders, you may be entitled to substantial legal compensation. Exploring all of your rights and options moving forward can help you to attain the support you truly deserve.