Welding Accident Attorneys
Lawyers for People Injured in Welding Accidents
Were you injured in a welding accident, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by another's negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent injured workers harmed on the job site and can help you.
Call our law office today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Types of Welding Injuries
The welding process produces several types of hazards for workers in this field. Electrical arc, laser, or torch welding all produce radiation that can harm the eyes and burn the skin. In addition, there are shards of metal and hot sparks that can cause damage.
Most welders work in the manufacturing or construction industries. As a result, welders face dangerous exposure to all the hazards prone to these industries, like working in awkward positions due to confined spaces resulting in welding accidents.
Some common types of welding injuries are:
- Eye Injuries. Due to the bright visible light and the exposure to ultraviolet radiation emanating from the electrical arc gases while brazing, welders are prone to eye injuries and damage. Welding accidents can cause damage to the eye surface, membrane, and retina that can result in cataracts and even blindness.
- Skin injuries. The UV radiation from soldering can burn the skin from direct exposure or reflected off another surface. Just like all UV radiation, long-term exposure can cause skin cancer. An artisan should don appropriate gear to avoid high heat inflicting harm on their body.
- Fume injuries. The fumes produced during soldering are made up of solid particles that can be deposited in the lungs. The particles composition varies with the different types of metals used. These fumes can cause many health issues over a long-term period, including nervous system disorders, cancer, kidney damage, lung problems, bone, and joint conditions.
- Electrical Shock. In the construction industry, electrical shock is a common injury occurring to the welder's face. The injury often results from two metal parts arcing voltage between them, causing a secondary voltage shock when any part of the welding equipment is grounded.
- Parkinson's disease is caused by manganese gas emanating from the soldering process.
Confined spaces make welders work in awkward positions leading to welding accidents. Therefore, employers should provide conducive work environments to enable welders to operate safely without squeezing themselves into awkward positions resulting in welding accidents.
Welding Safety Protocols to Reduce Danger to Workers in the Workplace
Due to the hazardous elements of soldering metal together, protective gear and proper ventilation of the workplace environment are essential for safety. OSHA has strict guidelines for employers to adhere to for welders to be safe while performing their job.
Some of the safety requirements to avoid the hazards welders face in accidents include:
- Protective eye gear: Welders need to put on helmets, side shields, or goggles for eye protection against eye damage risk. The type of eye protection depends on the type of welding being performed
- Protective clothing: Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that welders put on protective clothing to protect them from charring and radiation exposure.
- All confined spaces must be adequately ventilated to protect workers from harmful gases
- Respirators: Respirators cushion workers against dangerous fumes emanating from soldering
- Gloves and Boots: Gloves and boots cushion the workers' hands and feet against soldering risk
- Ear cover: To cushion the ear from loud noise emanating from soldering
Contact a Welding Workers Compensation & Injury Law Firm for Free Consultation
Were you injured in a workplace welding accident in Illinois? Do you need legal representation? Our law firm can ensure the best possible financial compensation for your workplace injuries.
Many welding injuries can cause permanent damage, and it is essential to look at the long-term costs of your damages. Our law firm of personal injury attorneys in Chicago are well versed in OSHA regulations and will strive to obtain the best outcome in your case.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your injury and never charge a fee unless we can get you a financial recovery. So tell us your story to facilitate the monetary recovery process.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over fifty thousand people are injured or killed on the job every year due to work-related risks. Therefore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict requirements for employers to avoid welding accidents, including availing an accident hotline number if employees need emergency medical attention.
Some of the most common types of worker injuries include:
- Falls: According to NIOSH, falls injure or kill more than a third of all American construction workers every year
- Electrocution: This accounts for nearly a quarter of workplace deaths
- Entrapment: An team member can be trapped in a machine or between heavy equipment
- Chemical Exposure: The dangers of chemicals are well known, but that doesn't mean they won't be used in the workplace when there is a need for them
Some types of work are considered more dangerous than others, and as a result, the employer is required to follow different rules to prevent injuries.
For example, construction, manufacturing, and transportation sectors have unique safety requirements that are more stringent than those needed for office workers or retail personnel to avoid welding accidents.
Bureau of Labor Statistics - Required Safety Equipment
There have been many cases where a team member was injured because the employer did not provide them with proper protective equipment.
According to the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that employers have a safe work environment for all staff to avoid welding gases risk.
The employer is responsible for providing protective equipment, including:
- Hard hats: Hard hats are required in most situations when there is a potential head injury risk. Over 600 construction workers were killed and over 3,000 injured due to head injuries because they did not put on hard hats in 2007
- Safety glass shield: Cushion eyes with safety glasses or goggles UV-ray approved when working around potential eye injury hazards
- Respiratory devices: It is essential to have a respirator in any place where hazardous dust can be found
- Hearing protection: Consistent exposure to loud noises, extreme heat, and soldering flames can lead to hearing loss. Employers must provide hearing protection in areas where there are loud noises that may cause hearing loss
- Hand and body protection: When operating heavy machinery or equipment, welders should have the appropriate hand and body protection to prevent welding accidents
The injured employee might be entitled to receive monetary compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages due to time off work. Any staff member wounded on the job can seek workers' compensation benefits through their employer's insurance company.
If they don't get compensated by their employer, they can file a claim with the state's workers' compensation board. What if a worker is injured but already has medical insurance? In this case, the employee can consider applying for Social Security disability benefits.
The application process includes filing a claim with their employer or state agency and having an IME (independent medical exam) within a certain period after their injury. Today there are over 6,800 businesses that produce welding supplies in the United States.
If you have any questions about a welding injury in your workplace and how to proceed, contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Welding Accidents
Welders, cutters, solders, and brazers work in a variety of industries to weld metal parts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 337,300 welders were working in the US in 2010. An estimated 61% held jobs in manufacturing, and 11% worked in the construction field.
All welders in America likely number about two million, accounting for pipefitters and ironworkers that weld at least part-time. Unfortunately, these welders have a high risk of injury from exposure to welding hazards (such as Welders Parkinson's), and thousands have serious eye injuries every year.
Common Welder Injuries
Welding is hazardous because welders work with scorching metal rods that can cause welding accidents resulting in burns, eye injuries, and respiratory damage.
The most common injuries in the welding industry are:
- Burns: Welding flash burn (also called Arc Eye) occurs when a welder is exposed to infrared radiation emitted by an electric arc. This charingusually happens around the eyes and can be extremely painful.
- Respiratory damage: Welders that work in enclosed spaces or with large equipment are at high risk of long-term respiratory damage from breathing the hazardous fumes produced during soldering. These fumes contain various chemicals, including heavy metals, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen dioxide, harming a welder's health.
- Facial disfigurement: Metal fragments that fall on welders' can cause facial disfigurement, scars, or burns. These fragments can also cause welding injuries like broken bones in the hands and arms, causing lifelong disabilities.
- Brain Damage: Soldering fumes produces manganese, causing the welder to suffer brain damage. The part where the brain damage occurs is the same place where Parkinson's disease also occurs.
- Hearing Loss: Regular exposure to soldering flames, extreme noise, and heat can result in hearing loss.
Employers are required to take steps to reduce or eliminate welding injuries by following proper welding procedures, maintaining the safety of the equipment, and ensuring that their welders are adequately trained.
Welders Are Exposed to Different Hazards
As pieces of metal are heated to excessive temperatures during welding and cutting processes, welders are exposed to soldering injuries in the workplace as follows:
- Electrical shock: Pieces of metal that have rusted or oxidize can be highly conductive. If another piece of metal touches these pieces, a current can travel from the welder's gloves or tools through their body, leading to severe injuries and even death.
- Breathing in toxic fumes: Welding produces smoke and fumes that are poisonous to inhale, which is why welding companies need to provide welding fumes or fume extraction systems to keep welder's safe.
- Electroplating: When metal rods are welded together, pieces break off and are embedded on the welder's skin. These fragments may have been left in the welder's gloves after working with hot metal bars. Any pieces left on a person's skin could cause infections and leave disfiguring scars.
- Toxic gases: Soldering produces toxic metal fumes such as chromium or arsenic, which, when inhaled, can be devastating to a welder's health. Many welders have been affected and have lengthy health problems due to toxic gas exposure.
Electrical Injuries and Burns From Welder's Flash
A welder could be injured from burns around their face, nose, ears, or neck, known as a welder's flash (also called Arc Eye). These burns are caused by intense heat emitted when metal rods are welded together. This light penetrates the soldering glass shield causing burns or charring around the eyes.
As a severe safety hazard, a welder's flash could lead to permanent eye injuries if care is not taken during welding procedures. Therefore, companies employing a welder should ensure that their workers adjust the glass face shield correctly to cushion their faces from burns.
Treating Arc Eye Burn
A welder that suffers from a flash burn around his eye must visit a doctor immediately as this can lead to serious eye injuries if left untreated.
Fragments from metal rods can harm the eye's cornea, causing severe vision problems in that eye. As a result, welders are required to wear full-face shields to avoid severe vision issues.
Protecting Against Heat, Electrical, and Flash Burns
Employers and welders in the welding industry must reduce the risk of flash burns by following proper safety procedures: Welders must use glass shields made from the high light transmission. This glass allows a welder to have a clear vision but still protect his eyes from light flashes when welding.
The soldering glass shield has a UV-A protection filter made from materials such as Trivex®, which is highly recommended. In addition, welders must don proper Arc Eye protection that meets ANSI Z87.1 standards for testing of optical lenses and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Employers must ensure that staff wear Arc Eye protection with the proper light transmission and UV. An employer also must provide their welders with adequate medical treatment if they suffer from flash burns.
If Arc Eye burns are not treated, permanent vision damage can occur due to severe after-effects such as photophobia or light sensitivity. If welders develop flash burns around their eyes, they must stop working and seek medical help immediately.
Employers should ensure that employees have Arc Eye protection when soldering to protect against infrared radiation. In addition, employers must inform employees about health and safety protocols and ensure they follow procedures on soldering.
The Deadly Risk of Welding
OSHA statistics show that one person out of two hundred and fifty from the building sector personnel will succumb to soldering dangers. More than 500,000 soldering personnel ply their trade today in the USA; the tentative fatality rate is about two thousand soldering fatalities.
Defining Welder's Flash
Welder's flash is an eye condition that develops when the eyes are exposed to intense infrared radiation during welding procedures. A welder suffers this injury if he does not wear a face shield when soldering metal rods.
Typically, eyes develop severe inflammation and scars. These injuries can last a lifetime if a welder does not visit a doctor or see an accident emergency specialist immediately.
What Is Arc Eye?
Arc Eye is also known as welder's flash and results from an electrical arc infrared radiation during soldering. The typical symptoms include sore eye cornea, watery eyes, pain, and eyes sensitivity to light. Arc Eye typically occurs the same day after exposure.
How to Prevent Arc Eye
When soldering metal bars, a welder can avoid developing an Arc Eye by wearing a glass safety shield or insulated safety goggles. Similarly, they can strictly adhere to the regulated safety procedure to prevent risk work.
Common symptoms of Arc Eye include:
- Feeling like you have dirt in your eye
- Watery eyes
- Eyes become reddish
- Pain in the eyes
- Eyes sensitivity to light
- Obscure vision
Avoiding Welding-Related Injuries
Welders can avoid welding accidents by following safety precautions, including using coated safety goggles. In addition, wearing face shields is essential to protect against infrared radiation during welding procedures.
Employers must provide protective safety gear to their employees while working. Similarly, employers are responsible for ensuring employees don the right equipment to avoid ultraviolet light.
Is Welding Gas Dangerous?
The soldering process produces a dangerous metal fume and associated gases like manganese. Some health risks resulting from hazardous soldering fumes include:
- Choking if welding in an enclosed place
- Lung cancer if exposure is lengthy
- Reddish eyes
- Unclear eye vision
- Throat and nose discomfort
- Stomach blisters
- Kidney disease
- Parkinson's from the manganese gas emanating from the fumes
- Nervous system disease
- Watery eyes
- Hearing loss
Workers should not weld metal without putting on protective face shields to protect against fume risk. Customized face shields or goggles protect the welders' faces from toxic fume risk.
How Do You Treat Arc Eye Burns?
If high heat from the fume causes welding injuries at a workplace, seek emergency help urgently. Treatment for flush burn include:
- Eye droplets
- An antibiotic prescription to contain the infection
- Eye dressing to relieve them
Common Welding Injuries
The most common injuries that welders experience include:
- Welder burns
- Arc Eye burns
- Respiratory injuries due to the dangerous fumes.
- Flying debris penetrating the ear canals
- Intense noise can harm the ears
Contact a Welding Worker's Compensation & Injury Law Firm
Are you the victim of a workplace welding accident in Illinois? Were you harmed by fire, arcing, or electrical shock while bonding extremely hot pieces of metal together?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our workplace accident attorneys represent victims hurt by fire, electrical shock, inhalation of gases, brazing metals, explosions, sparks, ultraviolet light exposure, chemicals, and hot materials.
Many of our clients have suffered permanent welding injuries and face the long-term costs of temporary or permanent disability. Call our law office today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures you pay no upfront fees until your legal matter is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.