Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Welding FumesJanuary 4, 2017
It may come as no surprise that welding can cause serious injuries if the welder does not take the proper safety precautions. However, in addition to potential burns from the heat and hot metal sparks, there are a number of other health issues that workers face. The welding process gives off harmful smoke and fumes that can be dangerous if inhaled. Being aware of these risks, and knowing the proper safety measures to take can help welders avoid potential injuries and illnesses from fumes.
There are two types of welding, including fusion welding and pressure welding. Pressure welding uses heat and pressure, whereas fusion welding uses only heat. There are three types of fusion welding, including electric arc, gas, and thermite, all of which produce smoke that contains harmful fumes. The metals found in these fumes include aluminum, arsenic, beryllium, lead, and manganese. The welding process also produces harmful gases like nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen fluoride.
According to OSHA, even short-term exposure to welding fumes can cause health problems like nausea, dizziness, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure can cause more serious conditions like certain types of cancer, and damage to the kidneys and nervous system. When used in poorly ventilated areas, certain gases can put workers at risk of suffocating.
OSHA offers the following tips to reduce exposure to dangerous welding fumes:
- Familiarize yourself with the risks associated with the welding process.
- Thoroughly clean welding surfaces on a regular basis in order to remove potentially toxic coatings.
- When working outside, or in an open area, notice which way the wind is blowing and say upwind to avoid inhaling the fumes.
- When welding indoors, use local exhaust ventilations systems.
- Do not weld in confined spaces with poor ventilation.
- Always use the appropriate safety gear, including respiratory protection if the workspace is not properly ventilated.
Baltimore Workers Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Injured Workers
If you have been injured or become seriously ill from inhaling dangerous welding fumes, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible so that we can help guide you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. Our dedicated team will address all of your questions and concerns, and see to it that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.