While all industries present safety hazards, some dangers are unique to particular occupations. One such occupation is welding and requires strict safety measures to avoid a workplace injury. Extreme temperatures are reached during welding, and an added danger is caused by the spatter and sparks created. While the sparks may cause severe injuries to an unprotected worker, an additional danger is posed by the distance that flying sparks could travel. A Colorado welder recently lost his life, and another worker was injured, while welding at a business near Erie.
According to preliminary investigations, the 26-year-old worker was welding in the vicinity of a trailer with a vacuum tank that had been used to transport oil from well sites. It is suspected that residual oil in or near the tank was ignited by some flying sparks from the welding. This caused an explosion that killed the welder and caused unknown injuries to another worker.
Ensuring the safety of employees is the responsibility of all company owners. This includes informing them of potential hazards, along with proper safety training for each eventuality. To prevent fires or explosions caused by spatters and sparks from welding, company owners are expected to inspect work areas and ensure that all flammable materials are removed. Materials that may cause fires include gas, liquids such as oil, paint and gasoline, along with solids such as wood and paper.
Colorado families, that have to face the future after losing a loved one who suffered a fatal workplace injury, may experience financial difficulty after paying for a funeral and burial. In addition, the loss of income may be detrimental to the welfare of the family. In some cases, the deceased worker may have been the sole breadwinner of a family. In such cases, death benefits, which are commonly paid by workers’ compensation insurance, may provide the financial assistance they likely need. Death benefits typically cover end-of-life expenses, along with financial assistance based on the worker’s latest salary level.
Source: greenfieldreporter.com, “1 man killed, another hurt in blast near Erie thought to have been sparked by welding torch”, Jan. 14, 2015