Welding on a construction site is a dangerous activity requiring experience and strict attention to safety precautions. In addition to the hazards posed by welding itself, some welders on construction sites are required to work in confined areas where special precautions must be taken to protect the safety of the employee. In some instances, welders may be asked to work outdoors, sometimes in inclement weather, or on a scaffold, two environments which pose risks of their own. Welders are also sometimes required to work in awkward positions while stooping, bending or standing to perform overhead work. In addition to these risks, fatigue is often a factor in the occurrence of welding accidents, as about one in every five welder works 50 hours per week or more. If you have suffered injuries caused by a welding accident on a construction site, contact a construction accident attorney to explore your compensation options.
The very nature of welding exposes workers to extreme hazards because of the intense light and heat needed for welding projects. Unfortunately it is this light and heat that puts welders at risk of life-altering injuries, including:
For welders who perform their work on scaffolding, fall accidents may result in injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injury, head and neck injury, back injury or spinal cord injury.
An arc burn can be described as a sunburn in the eye, and is also commonly called welder’s flash or a flash burn. An arc burn occurs when you are exposed to intense ultraviolet (UV) light, either from a welding torch, direct sunlight, the reflection of the sun off water or snow, or a sun lamp. Arc burns can cause infection which can lead to serious complications, including partial loss of vision or blindness.
Welders are often exposed to hazards in their line of work on construction sites, including contact with very hot materials and exposure to intense light generated by the tool used to melt and fuse pieces of metal together. For these reasons, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has federal safety regulations in place to prevent welding accidents and the associated injuries. For example, welders are required to wear safety equipment including special gloves, work shoes, and safety masks with protective lenses designed to prevent burns, injuries to the eyes, and blindness. OSHA also requires that welders operate in properly-ventilated rooms to minimize the inhalation of harmful gases and particulates that can result from welding processes.
Workers compensation laws in the United States were established as a measure to protect the rights of workers injured in on-the-job accidents. Medical benefits under workers’ compensation offer injured workers critical compensation for their sometimes overwhelming medical bills, and for lost wages if the employee is unable to return to work for a period of time. Unfortunately, some workers’ compensation claims are denied by the employer’s insurance company, which may leave the injured employee unable to work, with a mountain of medical bills, and with no financial assistance in sight. In some cases in which the workplace accident was caused by a third party not employed by their employer, injured workers may have grounds to file a third-party liability claim for additional compensation.
Welders are exposed to some of the most dangerous working environments, and the risks are only compounded when proper safety precautions aren’t taken by employers and supervisors. If you were seriously injured in a welding accident on a construction site, don’t hesitate to contact a construction accident attorney for legal help. You may be entitled to medical benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim, and additional compensation through a third-party liability claim. With the help of a qualified construction accident attorney, you can protect your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve for your workplace injuries.