Brooklyn, New York Welding Accident Attorney
Were You Involved in a Welding Accident on a Construction Site in Brooklyn?
Welding, which involves the application of intense heat and pressure to join materials, is a particularly hazardous form of construction work. Although hazardous, it is essential to the construction of buildings and structures. Without it, we would not have the house or building you are currently occupying. It is a highly specialized profession that few people pursue. To be able to join steel and rods, welders require specialized training and certification.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately half a million workers are exposed to the dangers of welding annually, and four out of every thousand workers will suffer a fatal injury on the job. In a high-risk industry such as welding, it is imperative that employers and contractors provide their employees with the necessary training and personal protective equipment (PPE) to perform their jobs safely; otherwise, catastrophic and preventable injuries may occur.
Welding work is not always dangerous, but there are numerous ways in which workers can sustain welding-related injuries if employers, contractors, and safety supervisors fail to take all necessary safety precautions to protect workers. Brandon J. Broderick's experienced personal injury attorneys are well-versed in New York Labor Laws and are renowned for their aggressive defense of New York workers who have been injured due to the negligence of another party.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a welding accident at a Brooklyn construction site, dial (877) 740-7603. Consultations are provided without charge.
The Dangers of UV Light: Photokeratosis or Flash Burn
The bright blue light emitted by an active welding torch is its most distinguishing characteristic; however, this light is extremely hazardous because it emits a great deal of ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is particularly hazardous to the skin and eyes at high levels.
Photokeratosis, or flash burn, is the common term for eye injuries caused by overexposure to UV light from a functioning welding torch. A flash burn is comparable to a sunburn on the cornea, which can result in inflammation, pain, blurred vision, and watery eyes. In contrast to flash burn, which typically heals within two days, photokeratosis can become infected and lead to blindness if left untreated.
Studies indicate that non-welders are more susceptible to welders' flash (41.1% of welding-related eye injuries) than welders themselves (19.7%). This suggests that while welders are generally aware of and prepared for the danger posed by an active welding torch, other workers on the job site may not be, indicating that safety supervisors may need to provide more comprehensive site safety plans to all construction workers.
Other Welding-Related Eye Injuries
While eye burns are common among non-welders, the leading cause of welding-related occupational eye injuries is foreign bodies, such as small particles, entering the eye. This type of injury is significantly more prevalent among welders (63,4%) than among non-welders (40,4%), but it accounts for the majority of eye injuries studied (54,7%).
This injury may have been caused in part by inadequate protection. According to BLS data, of the approximately 1,000 eye injuries that occur daily in American workplaces, approximately 40% of injured workers were wearing some form of eye protection, but it was insufficient for the job they were performing. Employers and contractors must provide employees with protective eyewear that complies with the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 standard for proper eye and face protection devices in order to prevent eye injuries caused by welding.
The Dangers of Construction Welding Accidents in Brooklyn, New York
Employers, contractors, and safety supervisors are required to protect employees from a variety of hazards, including eye injuries. Welding requires volatile gasses and high-temperature fuels. The structure of a building is created by welding metal beams and rods together using hot gas, sparks, or electricity. Three types of welding exist: gas, arc, and oxygen; and arc cutting. These techniques rely on molten materials that can cause injury if not handled properly.
Other common dangers related to welding include:
- Flying metal fragments
- Burns particularly from slag chip
- Buildup of toxic fumes due to inadequate ventilation
- Electrocution due to improper welder installation or grounding
- Fires in the weld area or in torn or ripped clothing
- Explosions caused by fumes, gas leaks, or leftover vapors on improperly
prepared welding surfaces
The possibility of falling while welding from suspended scaffolding is a welding hazard that merits additional attention. Welders are occasionally required to work at great heights, particularly on the numerous skyscrapers in New York City. The most important safety recommendation for this scenario is to "maintain the condition of the wire rope" that supports the worker.
The primary hazard in this situation is the welding torch or a live electrical wire coming into contact with the wire rope, which could result in an immediate break. It is imperative that an insulated tube protect the wire rope from such damage to prevent this from occurring. This wire rope is required by OSHA regulation 1926.451(f)(17)(ii) to be covered with insulating material extending at least 4 feet (1.2 m) above the hoist.
Another common danger associated with welding is exposure to toxic fumes, albeit over a longer period of time. Welding rods typically contain high levels of manganese, which can be harmful if inhaled excessively. There is also the possibility that varnishes or polishes remain on welding materials, which, if not properly removed prior to welding, can produce additional toxic fumes. To avoid the dangers associated with inhaling excessive amounts of welding fumes, it is imperative that welding take place in well-ventilated areas.
Brandon J. Broderick New York Welding Accident Lawyer is Ready to Help you With Your Claim
Welding injuries can be debilitating and extensive. Depending on the type of injury, you may incur substantial medical expenses and experience a significant decline in quality of life. If your employer fails to adhere to their responsibilities and provide adequate safety measures, they are negligent. If you have suffered due to carelessness or unpreparedness, you may be entitled to compensation.
Our New York welding accident attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick have years of experience assisting individuals who have been injured in a construction accident. Contact us immediately at (877) 740-7603 to schedule a free consultation if you've been wrongfully injured.