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Workers’ compensation: Welders can prevent burn injuries

| May 22, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Welders in Raleigh and across North Carolina will undoubtedly be aware of the burn hazards they face. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that employers must protect employees by providing safe work environments that are free of known dangers. However, not all employers prioritize employee safety, leaving it up to workers to take their own precautions to avoid having to file workers’ compensation claims.

Welding arcs produce flying spatter and sparks along with hot bits of molten metal that can be blown off the cutting flames, and workers also risk burns by handling hot equipment. The American Welding Society warns that workers who are exposed to arc rays could suffer radiation burns. The organization says employers must provide personal protective equipment, and workers can refuse to work without the necessary PPE.

Each welder must be provided with an approved welding helmet and head covering to protect his or her face, ears and neck. Eye protection is crucial, and safety glasses or goggles must be worn even under the helmet. Ear protection in the form of earmuffs or earplugs to protect the ears from flying sparks is a good idea, and protective gloves are essential. All the work wear must be flame-resistant, oil-free and non-melting, including pants, shirts, gloves, caps, leather leggings and boots.

It is a good idea to avoid clothing with loose fitting sleeves or pockets to prevent sparks or molten metal from entering these spaces and causing burns. Furthermore, workspaces around welders must be free of combustible materials or solvents. Welders in Raleigh who suffered on-the-job burn injuries can claim workers’ compensation benefits, and legal counsel can assist throughout the entire process.