Welders face the risk of serious workplace accidents daily, such as electrical shocks, exposure to hazardous fumes and gases, excessive noise, explosions, and hot metals. Some of these accidents can cause them to suffer permanent injuries like vision or hearing loss, lung damage, brain damage, Welders’ Parkinson’s disease, or death. If employers took safety more seriously, many of these accidents could be prevented.
5 OSHA Safety Requirements That Would Reduce Workplace Accidents
OSHA has developed a number of safety requirements to help employers prevent welding accidents. Employers should implement the following to prevent welders from being injured on the job:
- Fire prevention. If the object to be welded cannot be moved, any moveable fire hazards should be kept a safe distance from the welding area. If this is not possible, guards should be utilized to confine the heat, sparks, and slag so they do not come in contact with combustible materials. In addition, fire extinguishers, pails of sand, and water hoses should be readily available and well-maintained.
- Prohibited areas. Employers should limit the areas where welding can be done and should prohibit it in confined areas without working sprinklers or where there are explosive materials such as flammable gases or liquids, sulfur, paper, or cotton.
- Proper management. Supervisors must establish proper procedures for welding based on safety considerations and train welders in the hazards of their job and ways to avoid an accident.
- Accidental contact. Electrodes must be removed from holders and holders must be located in safe places to prevent workers from accidentally coming in contact with hot equipment. In addition, torch valves and the gas supply must be turned off when the torch is not in use.
- Safety protections. A fall protection system must be implemented using railings, safety belts, lifelines, or other fall protection measures to prevent workers from falling from scaffolds, platforms, and other heights. In addition, workers must be provided with safety gear such as helmets or hand shields, eye protection, goggles, face shields, earplugs, and respirators to help prevent them from suffering life-altering injuries.
Were you or a family member injured in a welding accident? Are you employed by a non-subscriber employer who has opted out of workers’ compensation? Fortunately, you could still be entitled to compensation for your injuries from your employer if he failed to comply with these safety requirements or was otherwise negligent. Start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.