Three Common Welding Injuries and How to Prevent Them

As a career, welding offers a steady income and reliable work, but comes with a host of hazards unique to the trade. Welders work with hot metal, powerful currents, and toxic gases, and should be made aware of the risks they will face. Here are three of the most common welding injuries, and a few tips for keeping welding sites safe. 

1. Manganism

Welding fumes contain the chemical manganese, which is toxic in high levels. Unprotected exposure to these fumes can cause manganism, a neurological condition with symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. 

2. Welder's Flash

Modern arc welders generate incredibly bright light. Without proper eye protection, looking at an arc welder can cause partial or complete blindness, a condition nicknamed "welder's flash" because of its prevalence in the industry. This is one of the most common welding injuries. 

3. Electrocution

Arc welders use live currents to heat metals to the appropriate temperatures, making electrocution a constant risk. The danger is escpecially great when welding occurs in wet or especially cramped conditions, where it is easy to accidentally make contact with electrified metal. 

Preventing Injuries

Preventing welding injuries is all about controlling the work environment. Regular safety inspections ensure that all equipment is functioning well, and that safety gear such as fire extinguishers and rubber insulation mats are present. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including face shields, respirators, and insulated gloves are especially important to the trade. Workers should be constantly trained and retrained in safety procedures.

By following these guidelines, most common welding injuries can be prevented. 

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