An arc welder is a very useful tool in construction and metal fabrication, but it's also a very dangerous one. It's never a tool that a worker should use without proper training, experience and personal protective equipment. To do so greatly increases the odds of serious burn injuries and other types of on-the-job injuries. These can be life-changing and sometimes fatal.
Just a few of the risks that workers may face when using an arc welder include:
- Severe burns
- Open fires
- Toxic fumes
- Dust inhalation
- Electrical shocks
- Heat stress
- Noise exposure
Remember, the temperature generated by the arc welder may be greater than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Workers are advised to wear:
- A flame-proof skull cap
- A shirt with no pockets
- An eye safety shield
- A shirt with a buttoned collar
- A helmet that is equipped with a highly-rated filter lens
- A shirt with long sleeves
- Fire-resistant gauntlet gloves
- Pants with no cuffs, with the shirt not tucked into the pants
- Safety shoes
Above all else, clothing should be clean and fire-resistant. Many workers choose personal protective gear that simply fits over their clothing, like fire-resistant coveralls that they can pull on over their jeans and work shirt when using the welder. This way, they know that they're covered and that they have the proper material exposed to the heat and the flame.
This information can absolutely help you avoid injuries, but nothing guarantees you will never get hurt in an on-the-job accident. If you suffer serious burn injuries, you need to know about all of the legal options that you have.