Research shows that work-related injury fatalities in Australia have reduced over the years. But there is still work to be done. Most industries and sectors have their fair share of risks. And accidents and injuries can occur when you least expect them to. Statistics show that 4.2% of workers have experienced a work-related injury. And technicians and trade workers are among those with the highest risk of illness or injury related to their work.
You need to know what kind of accidents and injuries are common within the welding sector. That way, you will be able to take measures to try and prevent them from happening in the first place.
Here are some accidents and injuries you should be careful to avoid:
1. Eye injuries
Welding is a profession that makes use of UV light a lot. And while it is useful for work, it can also be dangerous. Blowtorches, when mishandled, are a common cause for eye injuries among welders. You can end up developing a painful condition called welder’s flash. Common symptoms include intense burning in your eyes and sensitivity to light.
If the arc radiation penetrates your eyes, it can damage your retina. That can lead to diminished vision. Treatment can include antibiotic therapy and even the need to wear an eye patch for a while. But the best way to deal with this kind of injury is to prevent it from happening in the first place. For that reason, you need to wear the right safety goggles that have met the Australian standards for safety. Auto-darkening helmets are also a good option for eye protection.
2. Electric shock or electrocution
If you want to successfully weld different metals, you need to use heat. And many times, that heat source is electrical. Many of the pieces of equipment that you use will have a high voltage level. And that can pose a danger to your health.
As a result of your job, you can experience electrical shocks when you accidentally touch the metals being welded or exposed cables. The equipment in use can also shock you if they are not maintained well. Lacking the right safety gear could also expose you to electrocution. If you are lucky, you will only get shocked or burned. But sometimes, electrocution causes death. That means your family will lose a loved one.
Electric arc welding can also create electromagnetic fields. These fields are dangerous because they can interfere with medical devices like pacemakers. You should opt for a different type of welding in such a situation.
You should, therefore, ensure you have the right safety gear, and your equipment is inspected and maintained regularly. Also, make sure that you have all the required devices to regulate the flow of current while working.
Welding uses intense heat. And that means the risk of burns is high. Sparks and spatter can cause injuries and even ignite materials nearby, which will cause a fire. That is where a heavy-duty welding blanket comes in. It is usually flame retardant and will reduce the risk of fire by covering property nearby as you weld. And that reduces the risk of burns.
The welding sector is an essential component of the economy. But you need to make sure that neither you nor those working around get injured while welding. So you need to take the appropriate preventive measures to ensure that every worker is as safe as possible.