Although welding can be a dangerous activity, the odds of injury can be reduced by taking proper safety precautions. Wearing protective equipment, being aware of combustible objects in the welding area and consistently learning about the possible dangers associated with welding can help workers stay safe. While workers should be extra cautious when working in new environments, complacency can lead to injury as well in areas where workers have welded in the past.
What a worker can't see may be as dangerous as what he or she cannot see. Vapors in the air may be flammable, which means it is always a good idea to check for open gas lines or fuel tanks in the vicinity of any welding taking place. Unseen openings can also create a potential fire hazard while welding.
There are many different ways that a worker may injure him or herself while welding. For instance, the intense heat associated with making a weld could expose a worker to heat exhaustion, which could impair a worker's judgment. If a welder is not careful, fire could spread to his or her clothes or skin and cause serious injury to exposed arms, legs or faces. Over the long-term, workers who are exposed to toxic fumes could develop breathing or other lung issues.
Workers who suffer an injury while welding on the job or performing any other activity may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Those injured in workplace accidents may be able to win compensation to help cover medical and other expenses while they are out of work. It may be possible for the family of a worker who dies because of his or her employment to collect death benefits. An attorney may be able to review a claim to determine which benefits to pursue.