Four Work Injuries Arc Welders Face at the Bakken Oil Field

Oil field work is full of dangers and this is especially true of the Bakken Oil Field where the work is dynamic and fast-paced. While these dangers apply to all workers, arc welders are particularly vulnerable because of the unique nature of their work. Four work injuries faced by the arc welder include:

Toxic Fumes and Gases

Welding uses filler materials and shielding gases and operates on metals that may have coatings and paint. The welding process itself as well as chemical reactions caused by intense heat and ultraviolet radiation release toxic substances. These welding byproducts include asbestos, cadmium, selenium, arsenic, beryllium, phosgene, and lead. The employer should provide adequate ventilation for removing toxic fumes and gases. Failure to do this may cause respiratory health problems including cancer.

Fires and Explosions

The temperatures attained by the welding arc are in the range of thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. This readily ignites nearby flammable materials, liquids, and fumes. There are occasions where the welder is asked to work in highly flammable environments. Al Jazeera showcased this danger in a documentary about a young welder who died when his welding exploded the vapors in the tank he was working on.

Eye Damage From Inadequate Protection

Welding emits intense ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light. All of these can cause short and long-term eye injuries. Sustained exposure can cause blindness from problems such as eye cataracts and macular degeneration. Welders may use sub-par eye and face protection that allows reflected welding light to reach the eyes.

Electric Shock

Arc welding uses electricity to create an electric arc that melts the metal at the welding point. This exposes the welder to possible electrical shock if the person makes a mistake. He or she need only touch two metal objects at different voltages, which can cause an injury in itself, or cause a fall.

If you are suffering from a work injury, get legal advice from our experienced lawyers who can help you get compensation for your recovery. Contact us at Odegaard Miller Law today.