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Welding and other hot work raises safety issues for employers


Welding and other hot work raises safety issues for employers

Workers in South Carolina and around the country who perform duties such as welding, brazing, soldering and grinding face a number of particular hazards, but there are steps that their employers can take to reduce the risk of injuries caused by heat or fires. Combustible or flammable materials are especially dangerous to those performing hot work, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that these duties only be performed in areas that have been designated safe and are well away from known fire hazards.

The federal agency also urges employers to place an adequate number of fire extinguishers in areas where hot work will be done as well as identifying and clearly marking any known fire hazards that cannot be moved out of the way. The functionality of fire extinguishing equipment should also be checked on a regular basis. OSHA also recommends the placement of gas gauges in areas where hot work is done to protect workers against the dangers posed by accumulations of flammable gases like hydrogen and Acetylene

In addition to starting fires, sparks can cause serious workplace accidents. Workers who use grinding equipment should be provided with appropriate protective gear like eye protection and thick gloves according to OSHA, and grinders and other potentially dangerous equipment should be inspected closely every day before work commences. The safety agency also says that fire prevention equipment and fire guards should be clearly marked and available to workers.

Even the most comprehensive safety protocols can not eliminate all workplace injuries, and people who are hurt while on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, attorneys with experience in this area could recommend that injured workers file a personal injury lawsuit instead of submitting a workers’ compensation claim when the recklessness of their employers could be viewed as a willful intent to cause them harm.