Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations for Floridians. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, transportation and construction together accounted for 37% of the 243 work-related fatalities in Florida in a one year period.
One of the most dangerous pieces of equipment at any construction site is the welding torch used to meld together metals through heat and pressure fueled by an acetylene tank. Spending a long time on the job welding can expose workers to UV burns and damage to the eye. Fumes are emitted from welding that come from metals such as zinc, iron, chromium, aluminum or nickel. Welding fumes have a metallic odor and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) considers some welding fumes to be a potential occupational carcinogen. Consistent exposure to fumes can cause central nervous system, lung, and heart problems.
Even an experienced welder can be at risk from his profession. Welding accidents injure more than 500,000 workers every year. Burns are often the result of a welding malfunction where high temperatures and fire are involved. In the presence of gasoline and other flammables, fire is a danger of the job.
Florida welding accidents can occur when welders are not adequately trained. If there are many workers at one worksite, one mistake can magnify to hurt more than one worker. When working with hazardous welding machinery, workers can be subject to burns on their skin and eyes, a loss of vision, permanent disability, and fatalities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) requires employers to provide a work place that is free of known dangers, however some put profits ahead of their people. Many contractors we find disregard the safety of their employees.
If a worker feels the workplace is dangerous, the worker can request OSHA inspect the job site and under the law can do so without fear of retaliation or discrimination. As a last resort, a worker can refuse to participate in a job he or she feels is unsafe.
Call a Jacksonville Welding Accident Attorney at 855-797-9899
Workers’ compensation may provide insurance to cover the medical expenses that result resulting from an injury in the scope of your job and a replacement of wages. But if you feel the accident was preventable and your employer did not follow federal welding regulations, ask a Jacksonville welding accident attorney about your options. If potential hazards were repeatedly ignored or even covered up, if machinery was faulty and/or a third party’s negligence contributed to your injury or a loved one’s wrongful death, you may have a right to compensation beyond workers’ compensation for both lost wages, medical expenses and lost earning capacity.