Had a Welding Accident at Construction Site? Learn Your Rights

Anyone who welds for a living can attest to the difficult nature of the job, but in most instances, the financial rewards for this career are largely worth the risks. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t understand the inherent dangers that come with the job. This is especially true for work at construction sites.

Had a Welding Accident at Construction Site

Working on a construction site offers a variety of inherent dangers, but when these dangers are added to those presented by welding, it’s important for those engaged in this job to understand their risks and legal rights. Welding requires intense training and skill, but this isn’t always enough to prevent serious accidents. In fact, statistics show that, for each 250 construction workers, more than one will experience a fatal injury connected to welding.

It’s important to note that this trade isn’t a one-size-fits-all career. Plumbers, for instance, need welding training to perform their jobs correctly. Unfortunately, some areas in the country provide a much higher likelihood for dangerous welding accidents. This is especially the case in densely populated areas that consistently have construction going on.

In areas like New York City, for instance, a population density of over 27,000 people per square mile means that construction is likely always occurring in the city. The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., a firm of attorneys in New York quotes OSHA reports: “…17.6 percent of all workers killed on the job in 2011 worked in construction…thousands more sustained serious and life-changing injuries. This means that the number of welders at risk is exponentially higher in these types of areas.

Common Accidents

Unfortunately, many welding accidents prove fatal, and when a person considers these accidents and the types of injuries that they cause, there’s usually no wonder why these incidents are often disastrous.

  • Burns :

Burns are a common occurrence. Since oxyacetylene torches can burn at over 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s no wonder that these injuries are so common.

  • Eye Damage :

Eye injuries are another common outcome in welding accidents. This is why eye protection is so vital, but sadly, these injuries can still occur if the next mentioned accident occurs.

  • Explosions :

Sadly, welding also presents the risk of explosion. The highly compressed gas in welding tanks makes for an especially volatile work environment.

  • Electrocution :

Electrocution is known as one of the “Fatal Four” injuries in construction that contribute to most fatalities. Sadly, welders are at an increased risk of these accidents compared to traditional construction laborers.

  • Lung Injuries :

Sadly, even breathing in the fumes and particles in the air that occur during welding can cause serious injury.

Construction Site Liability

When it comes to workplace injuries, the law requires most employers to maintain worker’s compensation insurance. This ensures that an injured welder, even if injured through their own negligence, is taken care of after their accident. It should be noted, however, that an individual may still bring forth a lawsuit against another party under certain circumstances after a welding accident.

In one case in New York State, it was reported that a welding explosion, which occurred at the Buffalo DuPont facility, happened because the company overlooked potential hazards. Anyone injured because of negligence on the part of their employer or a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer, should immediately seek out a construction accident attorney. Willful or reckless negligence on the part of various individuals can lead to compensation being provided to an injured welder.

America simply wouldn’t be where it is today without professional welders. Not a skyscraper in the Big Apple would have risen without the hard work of these metal molders. Fortunately, because of these risks, welders have legal protections that are meant to keep them safe on the job. When these measures fail, though, the legal system usually ensures that they’re well taken care of after the accident. With legal help, a welder can ensure that they don’t go bankrupt after a serious injury on the job.

Teresa Stewart delves into writing about occupational hazards; in a fact finding session she located The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., New York lawyers whose wealth of experience includes litigation of construction site accidents. They assist clients through multiple legal options to recover deserved compensation and benefits.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/newyorkdistrict-usace/5765402017/