Are you a welder at one of the many industrial plants in the metropolitan areas within and surrounding Lake Charles? Like other welders in industries such as automotive, maritime, industrial construction and more, you probably face life-threatening or debilitating hazards every day. Welding accidents are known to cause severe injuries, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says of every 1,000 career welders, four will succumb to welding accident injuries.

Potential injuries

The range of injuries typically resulting from welding accidents include burns, eye damage and respiratory damage. Other injuries can even lead to death. Here is a breakdown of some of the more common injuries facing welders:

· Burns

While welding, the extremely high temperatures you work with to melt the various metals may be your biggest threat. Burn injuries are prevalent among welders, and although minor burns are likely par for the course, second and third-degree burns can be devastating.

· Fire hazard

Traditional welding and arc welding sparks are known to be severe fire hazards. A single welding spark that falls into an oil container or on rags soaked in oil in the workshop can start a fire. Apart from property damage, such a fire will expose not only you but also all the other employees to burn injuries.

· Electric shock

Working with electricity requires proper understanding of its inherent dangers and how to prevent injuries.

· Hearing loss

Although not specifically caused by welding, the excessive noise in most industrial plants can cause hearing loss over time.

· Eyesight damage

You might not be aware of the long-term damage that welding can cause to your eyes. After decades of working in this occupation, the long hours of focusing on the spots to weld and exposure to the bright lights and sparks when the electric current and metal meet can cause severe deterioration of your eyesight. It could even cause damage to your eyes over a shorter period — depending on your individual tolerance and the eye protection you wear while welding.

· Respiratory problems

The process of traditional or arc welding melts metals to fuse them together. At the stage when it changes from a solid metal to a liquid, the process releases hazardous gasses. If you are not wearing the appropriate welding mask, inhalation of these gasses could cause serious respiratory problems. Masks that provide only UV protection and no respiratory protection are not suitable.

Injured workers in Louisiana have the right to pursue financial relief through a workers’ compensation claim, or possibly a personal injury claim. However, keep in mind that having the right and actually pursuing compensation are two different things. The claims process can prove challenging. To help navigate through the process, many turn to the trusted advice of a local attorney.