You couldn’t make a building in New York City without welders. They literally create the foundation for every structure you see along the skyline. In addition to being an essential part of the construction industry, welding is also a very dangerous job.
When owners and foremen don’t follow OSHA guidelines, workers can get seriously hurt. If you are a welder who is suffering from pain or any type of injury as a result of your job, call the construction accident attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP right away at (212) 986-7353. We will do everything we can to get you fair compensation that will cover the cost of your injuries and time lost from work.
Welding is a highly skilled labor. It’s precision work that’s very dangerous because it involves heavy equipment, dangerous chemicals, heat, intense light, and the risk of fire. Some of the injuries construction site welders are subject to include:
- Electrical shock and electrocution
- Hearing loss from loud noises
- Fire and chemical burns
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Vision loss and eye injuries
- Broken bones, loss of limbs, and wrongful death from falling objects
All welders must be provided with proper personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes a helmet and safety glasses to protect your eyes. One of the most serious types of injury that welders face is called arc eye radiation. Also known as welders’ flash, this is an inflammation of the cornea caused by unprotected exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of a welding torch. The cornea is the clear, front surface of the eye, which is like a built-in lens that protects your eye and allows it to focus.
The clinical name for arc eye is photokeratitis, which skiers refer to as snow blindness. It may take several hours for damage done by UV exposure to become apparent. Symptoms of photokeratitis include:
- Mild to severe eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Tearing and watery eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
All types of welding will create toxic fumes. The smoke from welding contains harmful gasses that may include aluminum, beryllium, arsenic, lead, and manganese. According to OSHA, welding fumes can lead to serious health problems when they are inhaled. Exposure to toxic fumes may cause dizziness and nausea in addition to irritation of the nose, eyes, and throat. Long-term effects of toxic exposure include cancer of the larynx, urinary tract, and lungs. Breathing welding fumes may also damage the kidneys and central nervous system.
To protect against exposure to welding fumes and gasses, all welding surfaces should be cleaned to remove any coating that might increase toxic exposure. Welders should always remain upwind of welding fumes when working outdoors, and indoor worksites must be properly ventilated.
If you are a welder who has been injured on the job, call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP today at (202) 986-7353. Our NY workers' compensation attorneys will fight to get you a fair settlement that pays for your medical expenses and other costs caused by your injury.