Welding produces toxic metal fumes and gases

| Jul 6, 2016 | Workplace Injuries |

Welders in Louisiana are regularly exposed to a lot of hazards on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both fusion welders and pressure welders face risks associated with the gas byproducts and toxic metal fumes that are produced during welding.

Some of the metals that are contained in welding fumes include lead, beryllium, aluminum and arsenic. Welding also produces toxic gases like argon, carbon monoxide and hydrogen fluoride. When welders are exposed to unsafe levels of these metals and gases without proper ventilation, they can experience short-term symptoms like nausea and dizziness. Exposure to welding metals and gases over a long period of time can cause cancer and kidney damage. Welders may also suffocate from exposure to certain gases if they are working in an enclosed space.

Welders may be able to protect themselves by first gaining a thorough understanding of all of the hazards that they may be exposed to on the job. While working indoors, they should use exhaust ventilation systems and refrain from welding in a confined area. Outdoor environments do not always provide safe ventilation for welding, and those who are working outdoors should try to remain upwind of fumes. Whenever unsafe levels of fumes are produced, welders should wear respiratory protection.

It can sometimes be difficult for people to prove that illnesses like lung cancer and kidney damage were caused by work conditions. As a result, having the assistance of an attorney could be advisable when attempting to establish the link between the illness and the workplace in a workers’ compensation claim.