Advocating for Welders with Work-Related Injuries
Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Fight for Injured Workers
Welding is an important industry – one that is vital to the U.S. economy and essential in many aspects of our daily lives. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 500,000 welders and workers in other industries face various safety and health risks associated with welding, cutting, and brazing. At Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C., our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers have successfully secured benefits for countless injured workers in Pennsylvania.
Common Welding Accidents and Injuries
- Burns – Welders often deal with extremely hot metals, which have the potential to cause serious burn injuries. Also, the sparks and spatter created by welding may land on oil, dust or rags in the vicinity and catch fire. Employers should ensure that an electrical fire extinguisher is nearby and that residual heat in the welding system does not cause a workplace explosion.
- Electrical shock – When welding, workers should take certain precautions to prevent electric shock. The work must always have a ground connection and cables should be in good condition. Workers should also wear dry welding gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as rubber boots and rubber pads. A shock of 50 volts or less is enough to seriously or even fatally injure someone, so it is important to ensure strict adherence to OSHA welding regulations.
- Eye injuries – Eye injuries are common among welders. Eye injuries account for approximately one-quarter of all workers’ compensation claims filed by welders during a one-year period. Common types of eye injuries include blunt trauma, chemical injuries, corneal abrasion, detached retina, and flash burns.
- Toxic chemical exposure – Gasses and fumes released from metals may cause welders to suffer from respiratory problems. Protective masks often only provide protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays and metal sparks but do not protect against the manganese that is present in welding smoke or the carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen oxides that are generated from welding.
- Welder’s flash – Welder’s flash is caused by exposure to bright UV rays such as those produced by welding torches. Also known as “flash burn” or “arc eye”, welder’s flash usually heals on its own in a few days. However, if left untreated, it may become infected and can lead to loss of vision.
- Welder’s Parkinson’s disease – Welders are at risk of developing early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Many studies have linked manganese, the chemical element produced by welding smoke, to the disease. Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that affects the motor system, causing tremors, slow movement, muscle stiffness, speech problems and loss of balance and coordination.
Welders, like most other Pennsylvania employees, are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides compensation for reasonable medical expenses, lost wages, disability, specific loss, and death benefits. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must notify your employer of your injuries within 120 days of the accident or three years of your last harmful exposure at work. If you suffered an injury at work or were diagnosed with a work-related illness, seek medical treatment as soon as possible and then contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.
The workers’ compensation system is no-fault, meaning that you are entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault for your accident. Therefore, you do not need to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injuries. However, if someone other than your employer caused your injuries, either negligently or intentionally, you may be able to file a third-party claim to recover additional damages such as pain and suffering. For example, if your welding mask was defective or unreasonably dangerous and you were injured as a result, you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Welders Suffering from Work-Related Injuries and Illness Recover Compensation
Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. offers comprehensive legal services to injured welders throughout the state. Our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers have more than 40 years of experience handling both workers’ compensation and third-party claims and we can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 888-PITT-LAW for a free consultation.
We are proud to represent workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.