Most of the working days remain status quo for a professional welder, but accidents do happen. These are the most common welding injuries that occur to any welder, experienced or otherwise. They can happen within a blink of an eye.
With welding, there are several metals that you work with that release toxic fumes into the atmosphere. Common metals, such as aluminum, lead, and arsenic, are easy to breathe in if you don’t wear PPE to keep the fumes out. Therefore, having PPE is an essential welding safety tip. Along with those metals are gases like nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and fluoride that are dangerous to your respiratory system.
This injury takes longer to notice than the other short-term ones, but it may be the most hazardous because it can take your life. To limit the chances of contracting a lung disease, effectively clean your surface area and have a ventilation system work to your advantage.
Cutting metals causes scrapes to fly around, putting you in harm’s way. A chunk can hit you in the eyes and cause severe eye damage. These injuries can happen instantly, so you must know how to prevent them before they occur.
Most welding eye injuries cause arc eye, which is essentially a sunburn of the eye. Luckily, this injury will take care of itself after a few days. However, if a piece of metal finds its way into the eye, deeply scratching the cornea, you might have vision complications for the rest of your life.
The answer to this potential problem is, once again, wearing your PPE. And sunglasses don’t count because the UV light from the machine will penetrate through the darkened lenses.
The odds of getting electrocuted are slim, but they still require a fair warning. Operating in wet conditions, ineffectively grounding a machine and using it haphazardly, and having an insulation problem with an electrode can contribute to an electric shock. Your contact with the piece can also lead to one.
Therefore, avoid these circumstances so that you don’t fall victim to primary or secondary electrical shock. Secondary shock is standard, and you usually recover quickly. On the other hand, primary electrical shock can be lethal. So don’t tempt fate.
Burns and Radiation Exposure
Your skin is highly vulnerable if you’re welding. You may get a burn if even the slightest skin crease peeks through your protective clothing. Severe burns may require some cream or ointment to prevent infection. Thus, it’s best to consult a medical specialist immediately.
Outside of traditional burns, UV radiation exposure is part of the job. Experiencing high UV exposure is like being out in the sun too long. But don’t just slather yourself in sunscreen because it’s no match for the conditions you work in as a welder.
Welding is a rewarding career, even if you must dodge the most common welding injuries that occur. Fortunately, all these occurrences are avoidable through preventative measures. Don’t ever try and take a shortcut when you’re welding.