Welding is an integral aspect of most construction processes. Despite the fact that it is a highly regulated task, welding has one of the highest occupational injury rates across the construction industry in New York.
Every year, thousands of construction workers are injured in welding accidents. Many of these workers sustain serious eye injuries and develop respiratory illnesses that require a lifetime of treatment. Several deaths are also reported every year due to welding related explosions, electrocutions, and asphyxiation.
What are the laws in NY City protecting welders
NY State Industrial Code
NY State Labor Law Section 200 and Section 241
NYC building Code relating to explosive gases as well as other sections
For over 90 years, Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff LLP has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of New Yorkers who are injured as a result of a third party’s negligence or willful action. We can provide you with the highest level of legal representation and use the resources at our disposal to ensure that you are adequately compensated for your construction site injuries.
This is one of the biggest hazards welders face on construction sites in New York City. If you accidentally make contact with a hot component in the welding device while simultaneously touching the metal surface which is being welded, you can receive a primary shock, which can range anywhere from 110 volts to 600 volts. Receiving a primary shock can be extremely dangerous, since you can get electrocuted to death.
If you accidentally make contact with a part of the welding circuit, you can receive a secondary shock. Secondary shocks are milder and do not pose a serious threat to your life. However, even secondary shocks can cause serious injuries under certain circumstances.
For instance, if your skin is wet or broken, you are at risk of suffering serious injuries from an electric shock, as the resistance of your skin is much lower when it is wet compared to when it is dry.
Eye injuries are extremely common among welders at construction sites. Data shows that eye injuries account for nearly 25% of all welding related injuries. Welding torches tend to produce an intensely bright ultraviolet light, when exposed to which you can suffer a flash burn in your eyes.
It can lead to several problems like light sensitivity, diminished vision, mild to severe pain, and cataracts. In some cases, the ultraviolet radiation can penetrate deep into the retina and cause permanent damage, eventually leading to blindness.
Exposure to Toxic Fumes
A variety of different gases, fumes, and toxins are released during the process of welding. If you are exposed to these substances, you can develop several long-term conditions that can adversely affect your health and wellbeing. One type of condition is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – an incurable disease which is caused as a result of constant exposure to metal dusts and fumes.
Also, welding rods contain manganese, which poses serious health risks to workers. During the process of welding, manganese molecules are released into the air.
Inhaling these toxic molecules can affect your motor function and cause several problems like loss of balance, lack of coordination, muscle stiffness, impaired memory, impaired judgment, slurred speech, and sleep disorders. Long term exposure to manganese molecules can destroy your brain cells and cause Parkinson’s disease.
As a welder, you are exposed to intense heat on a regular basis. The ultraviolet radiation and sparks that are emitted during the welding process can easily damage your eyes and burn your skin. Also, if you accidentally touch a freshly welded metal surface or the welding equipment, you can suffer serious burns.
The sparks emitted during the welding process can easily start a fire, especially if there are flammable materials around. If the sparks or the molten metal comes into contact with a highly volatile material, it can result in an explosion, the results of which can be fatal.
There are several safety measures that employers can take to prevent welding related accidents at construction sites.
If an employer unintentionally or deliberately ignores OSHA safety regulations, the possibility of a welding accident increases considerably. If you or anyone in your family is a victim of such an accident, the construction injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP can help you.
We can hold your employer and other third-parties whose negligence caused the accident accountable for their actions and fight aggressively for your right to be compensated for the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.