Choosing a job as a welder comes at a price; you need to look out for certain aspects of the job that are more common than others. Naturally, you will collect a few scars here and there on the job, but you should do everything in your power to avoid some of the more considerable dangers. Make yourself aware of the most common health hazards you can experience when welding.
Exposure to Fumes and Gases
Working in the welding business means you will expose yourself to invisible gaseous fumes. Gases like ozone, nitrogen oxides, chromium, and carbon monoxide can easily penetrate your lungs. Everyone in the welding business knows the possibility of this exposure. As such, all job sites have specific welding safety tips designed to keep you safe.
Follow these guidelines to prevent illnesses like pneumonia, occupational asthma, cancer, and throat and lung irritation. In addition to the guidelines, employers must provide welders with adequate and suitable respiratory protective equipment.
Never start a job without having the proper equipment and brush up on the guidelines before each activity. Taking these steps can save your life.
The welding process uses live electrical circuits to create a pool of molten metal. These circuits leave you open to exposure to an electrical shock. Experiencing a shock can result in serious injuries, especially if it occurs at a great height.
Pay close attention to the tools you use and stop what you’re doing if you notice that something is wrong at any point. Examine the device and ensure it is safe for further use. Avoid working in damp conditions, wearing wet clothes, welding on metal flooring or structures, and working in cramped spaces where you must lie or kneel.
Exposure to Loud Noises
You expose yourself to loud, prolonged noises when carrying out welding activities. Welding activities produce noises well above the average loud noise barrier. Hearing this noise for an extended period can damage the ears and cause hearing impairment.
Watch for the signs of noise-induced hearing loss, including:
- Occasional dizziness
- Ringing in the ears
- Increased blood pressure (speak with your doctor to check this)
- Increased heart rate
Fires and Explosions
Welding is a hot work activity which means exposure to fires and explosions comes with the territory. These two threats are the most common hazards in the welding business. If a fire or explosion does break out, don’t hesitate to act.
If an explosion happens, do not attempt to contain it. Remove yourself and anyone else from the area immediately. If a small fire breaks out, find the tools to stop it and put it out. More extensive fires pose more of a threat.
Again, follow any instructions provided by your job. You need to effectively manage each hazard to avoid severe consequences, such as fatal injuries and destruction of property.
You don’t have to quit your welding job to stay in perfect health. You only need to make yourself aware of the most common health hazards you can experience when on the job. This way, you can prevent yourself from any real damage.