You may be eligible to make a welding injury claim for compensation if you’ve been injured in a welding accident at work and negligence was the cause.
Welders need to have a high level of skill to avoid the many injuries inherent in this job. But skill and experience are often not enough on their own.
What’s equally important is the many safety precautions that employers must put in place to prevent welding-related accidents and injuries from happening. The absence of these safety measures can result in injuries with far-reaching consequences. If your welding injuries were caused due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
Common Welding Injuries In The Workplace
As you will see below, most welding injuries are very severe.
Burns – Welding obviously involves high temperatures, fiery sparks, and red hot metal, all of which make burn injuries some of the most common injuries that welders experience.
Arc Radiation – The welding process generates hazardous arc rays. Welders are at high risk of skin burns and retina damage from exposure to radiation and UV light that’s produced from these arc rays.
Eye Injuries And Blindness – Flying debris such as metal slag generated from the welding process can cause eye injuries if the welder isn’t wearing appropriate protective goggles.
Welders Flash – Dry or teary eyes, burning sensation in the eyes, or sensitivity to light are symptoms of welders flash. This is a result of long hours of exposure to radiation and the bright light generated during welding.
Arm And Hand Injury – Welding continuously for long periods of time without a break can cause various arm and hand injuries.
Lung Diseases Such As COPD – This can result from inhaling welding fumes, vapour or other chemicals used in the process.
Manganese Poisoning – Several welder’s tools such as welding rods and electrodes contain manganese. Inhaling manganese fumes can cause a wide range of symptoms from slurred speech, dementia, and short-term memory loss to impaired judgement, ataxia, and sleep disorders. In severe cases, it causes permanent nerve and brain damage.
Duty Of Care Towards Welders
Welders are employed in a variety of industries. Their biggest employers are manufacturers, repair contractors, and local councils. Local councils employ welders to carry out installation and repair works of metal fixtures in many public places.
All employers, regardless of industry, have to comply with The Health And Safety At Work etc. Act 1974. This act outlines employer responsibility in the workplace with special emphasis on ensuring the health and safety of their workers on the job.
As part of an employers duty of care with regards to welders, employers must at the very least do the following:
- Perform a thorough risk assessment to identify and remove or reduce potential hazards
- Carry out regular inspection and maintenance of all welding equipment and accessories
- Provide welders with adequate training with annual refresher courses on hot work policies and procedures
- Provide welders with appropriate personal protective equipment such as safety goggles and helmet, fireproof gloves, and heavy-duty boots
- Monitor the workplace with a recommended gas detector
- Ensure that the space where the welding is being carried out is well ventilated
- Ensure that the surrounding area is clear of all inflammable material
- Maintain good housekeeping practices around the welding areas
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Considering the high risks involved with welding jobs, employers are expected to do much more. If your employer fails in their responsibilities and you are injured as a result of their negligence, it is considered a breach in the duty of care. The law makes provisions for employees to get compensated under these circumstances.
How Much Compensation For A Welding Accident?
The amount of compensation you might receive in a successful claim depends on various factors including the type and severity of the welding injury. We’ve therefore provided a calculator below for working out compensation amounts for different injuries that might typically be seen in a welding accident.
The settlement amounts displayed are based on the Judicial College guidelines and refer to general damages only. If you’re unsure of what general damages and special damages in personal injury claims are, please see the page here.
What To Do After A Welding Accident In The Workplace
Your health should be your topmost priority after any welding accident. Get the necessary first-aid on the scene and get to the hospital as soon as possible for a thorough medical check-up. If you’re seriously injured, call for an ambulance immediately.
Meanwhile, here are a few other things you should do that can help if you proceed to make a welding injury claim:
- Get photographs showing the cause of the welding accident, the accident scene, and your injuries.
- Make a report in the accident book, which is supposed to be kept at every work site, and keep a copy of the report. It’s important to create this written record of the welding accident and just as important to keep a copy.
- Keep all medical records and receipts from your very first visit through to all follow-up treatments.
- Keep all travel receipts such as fuel costs, bus fares etc due to the welding injury as you can claim these as part of the compensation.
Contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible.
Making A Welding Injury Claim
If you’re considering making a welding injury claim for compensation and would like advice on what options you have, please call us on 0800 6524 881 for a free consultation. An advisor or solicitor will discuss with you the details of what’s happened and why, and look over any evidence you might already have that can support your claim.
If the advisor/solicitor decides you’re eligible to claim compensation for the welding accident they may offer to fund your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This agreement essentially frees you from any financial obligations or risks as you aren’t charged any fees until the claim is settled. You would only pay a set percentage of the compensation if your claim is won and only when the compensation has been received. If the claim is lost you won’t pay anything.
Why Speaking To A Personal Injury Solicitor Is Important
Welding injury claims can be complicated. You need to prove that your employer was negligent and that the injuries were no fault of yours. This is not always easy because your employers insurance company won’t make things easy.
To be blunt, personal injury solicitors working on a No Win No fee basis have your interest at heart because if they don’t win you compensation they don’t get paid. Moreover, they have the knowledge and experience necessary not just to file a successful welding injury claim but to make sure that you get the highest compensation due to you.
If you’ve any questions or want to speak with our personal injury solicitors about a welding injury claim, please get in touch with us today.