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What are the health and safety hazards that cause Welder Sickness?

Welder sickness hazards fall into four categories:

Biological: While it depends on the workplace itself, welders do not normally encounter biological hazards.

Chemical: Welding can create fumes which are a complex mixture of metallic oxides, silicates and fluorides. Fumes are formed when a metal is heated above its boiling point and its vapours condense into very fine particles (solid particulates). Welding fumes normally contain oxides of the materials being welded and of the electrodes being used. If the metal has a coating or paint, these too can decompose with the heat and become part of the fumes. Care should be taken when working near these fumes. Welders also often work with and around: flammable and combustible liquids compressed gases

Ergonomic : Many injuries to welders are the result of strains, sprains and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Welders often have to: lift or move heavy objects, work in awkward positions for long periods of time, handle and hold heavy welding guns, and/or perform repetitive motions.

Physical: Welders can be exposed to: excessive noise levels, excessive heat or cold, Welding arcs and flames can emit intense visible (VIS), ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation. Gamma- or X-rays can be emitted by inspection equipment or welding machines. Skin and eye damage such as "welder's eye" or cataracts can result to certain types of radiation.

Welder Sickness?
Welder's Sickness from Welding Rod Fumes

(c) Copyright 2004 Monheit Law: Manganism Section