Welding Rod Dangers: Skin, Eyes, and Ears

 By: Jimmy Wilson
There are several risks that welders are exposed to. The well-known health risks include manganese poisoning, brain damage, lung problems, and kidney failure. However, in addition to that, welders are also exposed to other dangers, such as injuries to the skin, eyes, and the ears, which can be caused by different levels of light and radiation, as well as loud noises.

Regulations have been set by The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988. Its goal is to protect the workers who are exposed to toxins and other occupational hazards, and employers are required to provide proper ventilation and protective equipment.

Ultraviolet Radiation

The electric power used for welding creates ultraviolet radiation (UV). When the skin is exposed to this radiation, it can cause burning. It can also amplify the effects of other industrial chemicals that are present in the workplace.

Another problem that most welders may probably already know of is eye injury. Looking at UV light can damage the eyes, results to welder's flash or arc-eye, a condition where the cornea of the eye is injured. This injury is not permanent and may take a few days to heal. However, when a person is frequently exposed to UV light, this condition can be permanent.
It is advised that welders use face shields and goggles to prevent these injuries.

Infrared Radiation

Infrared Radiation (IR) is produced by flame which is produced by equipment that is used for cutting. Infrared radiation is generally safe to welders. However, when the skin surface and tissue is exposed to the flame, it can cause serious burns. For protection from infrared radiation, welders must wear protective clothing and a welder's helmet.

Intense Visible Light

Intense visible light can injure the retina of the eyes, specifically due to adaptation, pupillary reflex, and shading of the eyes. Most of the damages that are related to the retina of the eyes and is due to the carelessness of the welders themselves, particularly when they refuse the appropriate eye protection gear. Again, the welder's helmet is used to prevent eye-related injuries.

Loud Noises

Because there are several machines in the workplace, loud noises are inevitable. Persistent loud noises can result to stress and hearing loss.

Goldberg and Osborne, a personal injury law firm, has provided this article for informational purposes only, written by an independent author, and has not reviewed or edited this article and is not responsible for its content or accuracy.
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