Most Dangerous Jobs Welders

About one of the most dangerous or life-threatening jobs welding, information and dangers of the profession.


Welders: The next time you see a welder at work, spare him a thought. In the course of his working life, he is likely to be exposed to a greater variety of occupational hazards than almost any other kind of worker. These include:

1. Gases: nitrogen oxides and ozone (acute lung congestion, chronic bronchitis); carbon monoxide (dizziness, slowed reactions; may be fatal); carbon dioxide (suffocation); phosgene (the deadly gas used in W.W. I may be liberated when solvents used in cleaning metals, e.g., trichlorethylene, are heated by the torch).

2. Fumes from metal-coated rods and fluxes: zinc ("metal fume fever"); cadmium (acute lung damage; later, emphysema and chronic kidney disease develop); fluorides (spongy bones, weakness, mottled teeth); lead (anemia, disturbed nerve function).

3. Fumes from other metals; chromium oxide (nose ulcers, lung cancer); nickel oxide (nasal cancer); beryllium (acute lung inflammation; may progress to a chronic form fatal in one third of cases); manganese (muscle spasms, hallucinations, uncontrollable tremors).

4. Physical hazards: burns; "arc-eye" (ultraviolet conjunctivitis); cataracts from infrared radiation; electrical accidents; asbestos exposure (lung cancer, mesothelioma); explosions; noise from high-frequency levels in plasma arc welding; "trapped finger" from spot welding.

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