Brazing, welding, and related work involve the use of dangerous tools that can cause severe injury. These activities are common at construction sites throughout New York. Despite safety precautions and warnings, however, accidents can and often do happen. When these accidents are caused by someone’s negligent conduct, the responsible party or parties can be compelled to pay for the victim’s injuries. Having skilled legal counsel on your side will make all the difference. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a brazing, welding, or similar accident, give Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. a call.
What’s A Common Brazing Or Welding Injury?
These processes involve the use of extremely high temperatures to join together two or more metal objects. The main difference between brazing and welding is the source of the heat. Brazing is usually done by a hand-held torch, a furnace, or an induction heating system. Welding, on the other hand, uses electricity as a heating source.
Brazing processes can run anywhere from 800 to 2,000 degrees, and welding temperatures can reach up to 10,000 degrees. With such high temperatures, there are plenty of risks for accidents. Some of the most common ones include:
Burns. These burns are nothing like accidentally touching a hot stove or car engine. A welding or brazing burn can permanently destroy the skin in direct contact with the heat and severely damage the surrounding skin.
Eye injuries. The bright lights emitted during welding and brazing can easily damage the eyes, which are not meant to absorb such intense lighting. Proper eye protection must be worn by workers and others in proximity.
Vision loss. One particular type of eye injury is loss of vision. If this happens to a worker, his or her career may be permanently ended. And that’s to say nothing of the difficulties the injured worker will face in day-to-day life.
Radiation exposure. Welding can produce ultraviolet (UV) and infrared radiation. Either can cause an increased risk of skin cancer and other medical conditions.
Electric shock. The equipment used may be faulty and lead to electric shock or electrocution. This, in turn, can cause other injuries like skin burns. Any time there is frayed wiring or problems with electrical components, the possibility of injury is greater.
Fume inhalation. Poisonous fumes are often byproducts of welding and brazing. It’s easy to breathe in metallic substances which are hazardous to one’s health. Lung injuries, respiratory problems, and other diseases are not uncommon in these situations.
Why These Accidents Happen
Brazing and welding are certainly dangerous, but there’s no need for someone to get injured. When safety protocols are observed, the work can be done without any incidents. Unfortunately, safety is not always the rule of the day, and workers pay the price.
After suffering one of these accidents, it is important to determine why it occurred. That’s because it is up to the plaintiff in a personal injury case to lay out the factual details necessary to establish negligence. These are some reasons brazing and welding injuries happen:
Lack of proper safety gear. High temperatures and damaging rays of light require appropriate safety gear. In particular, the eyes and skin need to be protected. But all workers in proximity to the welding or brazing – not just the ones actually doing the work – should be wearing safety gear. Face shields, safety goggles, shoes, and heat-resistant gloves are a must.
Insufficient worker training. Before a worker can be allowed to use welding or brazing equipment, he or she must be trained. However, this step is not always observed. If someone is allowed on the site who hasn’t had proper training, that individual – plus others in the immediate area – could be seriously hurt. Only trained, authorized individuals should be handling equipment.
Poor ventilation. The fumes produced during welding and brazing can cause illness and injury. Poisonous gasses and fine metal products should not be inhaled. But if work is allowed only in safely ventilated areas, injuries become much less likely.
Lack of fire extinguisher. It’s simply inexcusable for a fire extinguisher to not be located close enough to welding and brazing equipment to put out a fire. Without one of these simple safety devices, equipment and components can burn or even explode.
Who Is Responsible For Brazing/Welding Accidents?
If you have been injured on the job, you can file a workers’ comp claim with your employer. Separately, you can pursue a personal injury claim against any third parties who may have been negligent in allowing the accident to happen. These parties may include (among others):
- Property owners
- General contractors
- Equipment manufacturers
- Safety gear manufacturers
Depending on the circumstances, the accident victim may be able to demand such damages as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Physical therapy
- Medical bills
- In-home personal care
- Lost income
- Lost future income (lost earning ability)
Your personal injury attorney’s goal will be to investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to establish the facts necessary to demonstrate negligence. Also, all liable parties will be identified and brought into the claim as defendants. Next, the nature and amount of your damages will be determined and calculated. Finally, if possible, settlements will be reached with all responsible parties. But our firm is always prepared to take a client’s case to trial if the defendants and their insurance companies refuse to offer you a fair and complete settlement.
Contact Our New York Brazing/Welding Accident Attorney
Suffering any kind of injury is stressful. But with Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. by your side, you have the confidence that comes with experienced, dedicated advocacy for the rights of injury victims. We take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is no fee unless we recover for you. Reach out to us today.
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. help clients with their brazing or welding injury accident claims throughout New York including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and Brooklyn.