If you are a welder in an Iowa factory, you may not realize how many health and injury risks you face in your line of work. Along with many potential burn injury hazards, your eyesight could face several threats as well. Furthermore, welding fumes can cause respiratory problems, and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a significant number of career welders die from injuries caused by their occupations.
Those most often exposed to the hazards of welding typically include workers at manufacturing plants such as automotive, marine and other industries, along with construction. Any expenses you have after suffering an on-the-job injury will be compensable by the benefits that you can claim from your company's workers compensation insurance.
Because you work with such high temperatures, burn injuries may be your biggest risk. Furthermore, because of the flying sparks created by both traditional and arc welding, there will almost always be a risk of causing a fire that could also threaten the lives of others. All it takes for an oil-soaked rag or an oil container to ignite is a spark produced from welding.
More risks -- long-term safety hazards of welding
A host of other dangers comes with welding, and, unfortunately, some may cause illnesses to develop silently over the years without you even realizing it. Here are some of the risks to you that welding can pose:
- Eyes -- As a welder, you must focus on the spot at which the meeting of the electric current and metal cause bright sparks to fly. Prolonged exposure to these bright lights can cause damage to your eyes.
- Lungs -- When you melt metals together, the process releases dangerous gasses. The typical welding mask provides some UV protection for your eyes, but it does not prevent you from inhaling the harmful fumes. Years of exposure to welding gasses can cause life-threatening lung diseases.
- Ears -- Welders often do their jobs in areas with excessive noise, but with all the focus on eye protection, they seldom protect their ears.
- Electric shock -- This is a constant hazard for the majority of all workers in industrial facilities.
After years of welding, you might experience health problems involving your lungs, eyesight or hearing – even after your welding career has come to an end. However, you may still be able to collect workers' compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses. Proving your condition to be work related may be challenging. Fortunately, with the support and guidance of an experienced Iowa workers' compensation attorney to advocate for you during the navigation of a benefits claim, you can ensure you're awarded the maximum amount of benefits to which you are entitled.