Welding equipment exposes workers to an array of potential work injuries, especially if it is not used or maintained properly, or if adequate safety procedures and protective equipment are not provided.
Arc welding accidents at work
Requiring live electrical circuits, arc welding poses a serious risk of being electrocuted at work or suffering electrical burns. The risk of injuries is heightened when working within damp or wet environments.
Fuel/oxy gas welding accidents
When working with fuel or oxy gas equipment, workers are at risk of being injured by fire and explosions. In addition, lack of oxygen when working in confined spaces may cause workers to collapse and, if not found and rescued in time, die. Breathing in welding gases and fumes may result in workers developing debilitating, potentially chronic lung diseases.
Manual handling accidents and vibration
Moving heavy gas cylinders; working in awkward positions for prolonged periods and high levels of vibration may also cause workers to suffer back injuries; vibration white finger or other repetitive strain injuries.
High volume noise levels have the potential to result in workers suffering temporary or permanent loss of hearing. This type of industrial condition may also be caused by sudden, extremely loud noises, such as generated by explosions, for instance.
Preventing welding injuries
In order to prevent workers being injured by welding equipment, employers are required to:
- Provide adequate training in the use of equipment and safe working procedures.
- Provide adequate personal protection equipment (PPE).
- Limit working periods to minimise effects of fumes, vibration and noise levels.
PPE required depends on the type of welding equipment used and may include:
- Safety goggles/glasses.
- Safety shoes/boots.
- Breathing masks/apparatus.
- Safety clothing.
Workers at risk may also need to be provided with regular health checks. Welding equipment must be checked daily and maintained in good working order at all times.
If you were injured using welding equipment, you may be entitled to work injury compensation. Fill in the compensation calculator on the official website of the Accident Advice Helpline or call their free phone advice line on 0800 689 0500 to talk to an experienced adviser to find out.
Claiming for compensation
Having successfully negotiated no win no fee* compensation claims for over 15 years, the company’s lawyers are able to conduct most claims for compensation over the phone. Specialising in work injury claims, they also often avoid the need for court attendances.
Date Published: March 6, 2014
Author: David Brown