Welding is among the most hazardous jobs in the construction industry. Every year, hundreds of thousands of welders in the U.S. suffer injuries related to burns, toxic chemicals, and the ultra-bright light emitted by welding machines.

Of course, it’s not just full-time welders who are at risk. These kinds of injuries can affect anyone who welds on the job, including iron workers, pipe fitters, and other construction workers. Welding accidents can put you out of work for months in the blink of an eye.

As well as the numerous other risks of construction and manufacturing jobs, welders must contend with the health hazards associated with exposure to fumes, gases, and ionizing radiation, all of which are the organic residue of welding, cutting, and brazing.

If you’ve been injured in a welding accident or because of extensive exposure to welding equipment, you may be entitled to benefits that will keep you financially stable while you recover.

Common Welding Injuries

It’s important to understand that not all welding-related injuries are immediately detected. Often, symptoms of permanent injury take time to be discovered; by that time, it’s often too late to hope for full recovery after treatment.

Some of the welding-related problems we deal with most regularly include:

  • Eye injuries: Exposure to bright UV light from a welding torch can damage the surface of the eye. This type of harm can lead to a condition called welder’s flash, as well as cataracts and, over time, blindness.
  • Skin injuries: Welding-related UV radiation can burn the skin. It’s even potentially harmful after being reflected off other surfaces. Long-term UV radiation exposure is associated with skin cancers. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that non-melanoma skin cancers are much more common on body parts that are regularly exposed to sunlight, suggesting that UV exposure is a major risk factor for cancers like this.
  • Fume injuries: Microscopic particles from welding fumes can easily enter the lungs. Over time, a build-up of these solid particles can cause nervous system disorders, cancer, kidney damage, lung problems and bone and joint troubles.

Even heavy gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE) can’t prevent every electrical welding injury. Regardless of the type of welding you do, whether it’s hyperbaric welding, underwater welding, or TIG welding at a factory, it’s your managers’ job to explain the hazards that apply to every task you perform and to make certain that current OSHA safety standards are in place.

Arc Eye Radiation Injury

Arc eye, also known as welder’s flash, is an inflammation of the cornea from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation released by welding arcs. Symptoms do not appear immediately, and many people remain unaware that they have suffered arc eye burn for several hours after exposure.

Symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Pressure or pain in the eyes
  • Abnormal sensitivity to light
  • Inability to look at a light source
  • Abnormal watering of the eyes
  • Reddening of the eye and surrounding membranes
  • Feeling as if there is grit or sand in the eye.

Welding Injuries Associated With Toxic Fumes

When welders apply intense heat to different metal-based materials or adhesives, the process creates chemical byproducts. This exposes welders, and those nearby, to dangerous toxins. When working with carbon steel, for example, the chemical reaction between the welding equipment and the steel produces manganese fumes which can, over time, lead to Parkinson’s disease. According to a 2022 study from the Parkinson’s Foundation, almost 90,000 people receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease every year; this marks a significant increase over estimates in previous years.

Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury Lawsuit: Which Applies to Me?

Most employees in the U.S. are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, which is designed to protect workers who are injured while performing their job duties. You don’t need to prove that your injury was someone else’s fault to qualify for workers’ comp; you just need to be able to show that what happened was work-related. If you were injured while working as a welder for your employer, workers’ compensation would likely be the primary avenue for seeking compensation.

If you’ve suffered injuries caused because of the negligence of another party, whether it’s your employer or someone else, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. The key is proving that another party was at fault. By accepting workers’ compensation, you typically forfeit the right to sue your employer for negligence related to the injury.

However, if your welding injury was caused by a third party (not your employer or coworker), you might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit even if you file a workers’ comp claim. For example, if a defective welding machine manufactured by an external company caused your injury, you might be able to sue the manufacturer.

Workers’ compensation does not provide for pain and suffering you endure because of your injury, but lawsuits can yield damages for this.

Contact Our New York Welding Accident Lawyers

Welding injuries usually occur when a contractor or project manager ignores OSHA safety regulations and cuts corners in order to complete projects more quickly. These injuries also commonly result from situations in which welders have not received proper training or protective gear.

At Tucker Lawyers PC, we can help win compensation to provide for your family in your time of need. In addition to coverage of your medical bills and replacement of the wages you’ve lost during time away from work, you may be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering, as well as other damages.

We understand how harrowing and life-altering a serious welding injury can be. Whether you sustained a direct burn, became sick because of the inhalation of toxic fumes, or were injured in some other way, your rights must be protected to the utmost extent of the law.

Let the New York welding injury attorneys or personal injury lawyer in Staten Island at Tucker Lawyers PC evaluate your claim. The initial consultation is free, and you pay no fee unless we win your case.

You can reach us via our online contact form or over the phone at (516) 399-2364.

john tucker

Managing Attorney John. J. Tucker, Esq.

John has personally handled thousands of clients who were victims of another’s negligence and fights relentlessly for their rights. John enjoys bringing closure to a client’s matter so that the injured party can move forward with their life. His background enables him to evaluate complex liability related claims and bring resolution to claims in a record time frame. [ Attorney Bio ]

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