Welding can be a very dangerous occupation, with considerable daily safety risks. Welders work with extreme heat and are exposed to dangerous chemicals for an extended period of time. Anyone from beginners in the field to the most seasoned welders can suffer from injuries on the job. When safety standards are not followed and adequate safety equipment is not provided, serious injuries are more likely to happen.
If you have been injured in a welding accident, it is important to seek an experienced Staten Island welding accident lawyer for help with your case. The attorneys at Shulman & Hill are extremely qualified to deal with these unfortunate accident cases and can help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to.
Welding Risks in Staten Island
Welders work with dangerous materials and tools on a daily basis. Some of the common workplace hazards that welders must protect themselves from include:
Burn prevention is a big part of welding safety. The National Fire Protection Association and OSHA provide safety standards that welders should always follow to reduce the risks for burns. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost one-third of heating tool-related injuries in 2018 were caused by thermal or heat burns.
Welding can produce several hazards to the eyes. The dust particles produced by welding can cause vision-threatening injuries if the worker does not wear adequate eye protection. The bright light welding requires can also cause a condition commonly referred to as “welder’s flash,” which can lead to loss of vision.
Arc welding is a specific form of welding that uses electricity to create the heat needed to melt metal. Electric shock can occur when the welder touches two metal objects that are of two different voltages. Electrocution can result in serious injury and death.
Welders often work with sharp, jagged pieces of metal that can cause superficial cuts or deep wounds. Gloves should be worn to mitigate the risk of cuts.
Crushed Fingers and Toes
When welders are working with heavy metal objects, there is always a risk of broken or crushed bones. Workers should always wear heavy boots and gloves to protect their hands and feet.
The Dangers of Welding Fumes
Welding fumes are a potential source of long-term, serious illnesses for welders. Welding fumes are made up of two main elements:
- Metal dust particles. The dust particles emitted when welding is extremely fine and concentrated and may look like smoke. This makes it easier for welders to unknowingly inhale the dust particles. Depending on the form of application and welding method that is being used, the dust can consist of particles from toxic metals like antimony, arsenic, beryllium, and more.
- Toxic gases. These harmful substances are produced by the fusion of metals. Some potentially toxic gases include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, helium, and nitrogen.
According to findings published in 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified welding fumes as well as UV radiation from welding as Group 1 carcinogens. This designation means that they have found enough evidence to determine that chemical agents in the fumes can cause cancer in humans. Some additional serious illnesses and diseases associated with welding fumes are lung disease, brain damage, emphysema, kidney failure, lead poisoning, Parkinson’s disease, and asthma.
Companies and welders should be vigilant about following workplace safety procedures in order to reduce these health risks. To minimize exposure to these harmful substances, welders should always wear a respirator, stand away from the direction the fumes are moving in, and be provided with adequate ventilation systems.
Preventing Welding Accidents in Staten Island
Companies are required to provide safety equipment and protective gear to help keep welders safe. They are also responsible for providing a reasonably safe work environment necessary for welders to safely complete their jobs.
The specific types of necessary protective equipment and clothing vary by the welding job and the particular task that is being performed. OSHA specifies which kind of safety gear—including helmets, hand shields, protective clothing, goggles, and gloves—should be worn for each task.
While most accidents are preventable, some companies ignore safety hazards and unnecessarily put welders’ health at risk. If they are a third party and not your direct employer—a property owner, general contractor, or subcontractor, for example—they may be held financially responsible for your injuries if they failed to provide you with necessary protective equipment and did not follow essential safety measures.
Regardless of the parties at fault, you are most likely eligible to recover compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Recovering Compensation for a Staten Island Welding Accident
Welding injuries can be debilitating and can drastically interrupt your daily habits and lifestyle. Not only could you be facing a long and painful physical recovery, but the financial devastation can be severe as well. If you are unfortunate enough to need surgery or physical therapy after your accident, the financial situation can seem hopeless when medical bills pile up for your long-term treatment.
You may also be unable to go to work, temporarily or permanently, if your injuries are severe enough. When you cannot earn a paycheck it can make your financial burdens seem even more daunting.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to protect you from the financial damage caused by a work injury. These benefits can include weekly payments to make up for lost wages and medical bills.
If you also qualify for a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party, you may be able to recover additional compensation for pain and suffering and other losses.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill
The Staten Island welding accident lawyers at Shulman & Hill are adept at helping clients with their workers’ compensation claims. We truly understand the serious consequences of these accidents and know just how painful these situations can be.
Our team also understands that the process of selecting an attorney can be overwhelming. Some lawyers may claim that they have the expertise necessary to guarantee a fair settlement or verdict. Instead of making empty claims, our team at Shulman & Hill has numerous past successes that demonstrate we are uniquely qualified to help you.
Contact our welding accident attorneys today for a free legal consultation. We can review your case and help determine the best way to pursue compensation.