Among construction and industrial-related occupations, welding is one of the most hazardous jobs. Every year thousands of the hundreds of thousands of welders in the U.S. are injured by burns, “welder’s flash” (blinding and diminished vision) and – over time – toxic chemicals. But other tradesmen, such as pipe fitters and iron workers, also weld as part of their job duties, so the number of “welders” could in fact approach two million. In any case, the tools used in welding are both useful and dangerous. Welding accidents can happen to anyone — from the most experienced welder to the inexperienced pipe fitter, causing devastating injuries that can keep an injured worker out for months.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a welding accident, you are entitled to benefits that will keep you financially stable while you recover. Let the New York welding accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC evaluate your claim to confirm the facts surrounding the accident and ensure that you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled.
Combined with the inherent risks of manufacturing jobs, welders face a great deal of workplace danger on a regular basis. There are numerous health hazards associated with exposure to fumes, gases and ionizing radiation, all of which are the organic residue of welding, cutting, and brazing. They can cause any or all of the following:
- Eye Injuries – The bright light exposure and welders flash can damage the eye surface, and retina, resulting in cataracts and, over time, blindness.
- Skin injuries – Welding-related UV radiation can burn the skin, even when reflected off another surface, and long-term UV radiation exposure is associated with skin cancers.
- Fume injuries – Solid, microscopic particles from welding fumes invade the lungs. Over time, they can cause nervous system disorders, cancer, kidney damage, lung problems and bone and joint troubles
Even heavy gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE) can’t prevent some electrical welding injuries. Regardless of the type of welding you do (hyperbaric, underwater, TIG welding at a factory), it’s the job of your managers to explain the workplace hazards to you for every welding job you perform and to make certain that current OSHA safety standards are in place to prevent injuries to the welder and all employees who work near the welding site.
Arc Eye Radiation Injury Can Debilitate
Arc eye, also known as welder’s flash, is an inflammation of the cornea from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation released by a welding arc. Symptoms do not appear immediately and many remain unaware that they have suffered arc eye burn for several hours after exposure. As welding is a traditional source of ocular flash burn, it’s important to take proper protective precautions when working with, or around, welders. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you will suffer some, or all, of the following symptoms:
- Mild pressure or intense pain in the eyes
- Abnormal sensitivity to light
- Inability to look at a light source
- Abnormal watering of the eyes
- Reddening (and often tearing) of the eye and surrounding membranes
- Feeling as if there is grit or sand in your eye
Toxic Fumes can Cause Long-Term Welding Injuries
When welders apply intense heat to different metal-based materials or adhesives, it creates chemical byproducts. This exposes welders, and those nearby, to dangerous toxins. When working with carbon steel, for example, the chemical reaction between the welding equipment and the steel produces manganese fumes which can, over time, lead to Parkinson’s disease, manifested by the following symptoms:
- Impaired speech
- Poor motor skills, coordination and balance
- Psychological issues
Contact Our New York Welding Accident Lawyers
Welding injuries usually occur when the contractor or owner ignores OSHA safety regulations and cuts corners in order to have the work done quickly. It is also important to understand that not all welding-related injuries are immediately detected. Often, symptoms of permanent injury take time to be discovered; and by then it can be too late to hope for full recovery after treatment.
It is also possible that your employer may not be providing you with the proper protective equipment or adequate training, which led to your onsite work injury. If you are being denied the compensation you need to pay for medical treatment, lost work income, and other damages, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we can help win the compensation that provides for you and your family in your time of need.
In addition to comprehensive coverage of your medical bills, ongoing treatment, and wages lost during your time away from work, you may be entitled to additional compensation for your pain and suffering and possibly additional benefits if someone else’s negligence caused your injury. We understand how harrowing and life-altering a serious welding injury can be. Whether you sustained a direct burn, were made sick via the inhalation of toxic fumes, or injured in some other way from a welding-related accident, your rights must be protected to the utmost extent of the law.
If you’ve been injured in a welding accident, let the New York welding injury attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC evaluate your claim. The consultation is free, and you pay no fee unless we win your case.