Recently I represented a worker’s compensation client who had lung problems due to many years of welding. Over the course of the representation it became apparent that it was not until of late that it became known about the benefits of proper ventilation and use of respirators to help prevent chronic lung disease in welders. There are some types of welding jobs such as anything to do with lead or lead paint that requires the use of respirators. In those situations, your employer should be providing those respirators for your own safety. However, if your employer does not you need to protect yourself. Some respirators can be extremely expensive while others are less expensive.
Of course, like any safety device, they must be used to be beneficial. Welding is a hard job and often times wearing a welding helmet in combination with a respirator makes it difficult to not only breathe but also see what you are doing. Some helmets come with built in respirators making it easier to use but of course these are much more expensive.
If you are welding inside make sure that doors and windows are open and/or use fans to keep the air moving. If you are wearing a respirator make sure to wear it while you are actually welding. If you are unsure as to what type of material you are working with stop and find out the answer before exposing yourself to harmful substances such as asbestos and lead paint. It is better to take the time to be safe than to be sorry by finding out later that you have been exposed to harmful chemicals.
This is not intended to be a list of all safety measures. However, my understanding is that most experienced welders know what should be done but sometimes either do not do the right thing or the employers make it difficult to do so.
In any event, if you are a welder and have had any lung issues such as chronic bronchitis, pulmonary obstructive disease, chronic cough, dyspnea or commonly referred to shortness of breath, with any type of exertion or activity you may have a worker’s compensation claim. If you have any questions or concerns about your rights whether as a welder or in any other trade please contact me for a no cost, no obligation consultation. We take these cases on a contingency fee basis which means there are no fees unless and until there is a recovery.
If you have worker’s compensation questions in the Madison area call (608) 824-8540, in the Baraboo area (608) 356-3961, statewide call (866) 455-2993, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website at https://khtlawyers.com for more information. At Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC, we listen, we care, we get results!