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Workers' compensation: The risks posed by welder fumes and gases

In its pursuit of protecting workers from harm, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety regulations for all industries. The California Division of Health and Safety visits companies to monitor the compliance with these rules. Where necessary, OSHA puts industry-specific regulations in place to address hazards that are unique, or of exceptional concern for particular industries. Records of workers' compensation benefits claims often indicate which injuries and illnesses are prevalent in specific sectors.

One group of specialized workers that are protected by OSHA is welders. These workers, along with their coworkers, are exposed to dangerous welding gases and fumes. Too many welders suffer long-term health problems due to exposure to these respiratory hazards, and because the damage could occur over time, pinpointing an onset date is never easy.

Employers must provide respiratory protection and ensure efficient air movement. They must also install ventilation controls to mitigate the dangers. The visible smoke that is produced by the welding process contains gas and metal fumes that are easily inhaled -- with devastating health consequences. An OSHA fact sheet lists the hazardous fumes and gases that could be produced by welding. Among others, welding fumes can contain aluminum, arsenic cadmium and beryllium, and gases like carbon dioxide, helium, argon and more.

California welders who are suffering the consequences of exposure to respiratory hazards do not have to cope with ongoing medical expenses and lost income without help. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help them obtain financial assistance. A lawyer can navigate the complicated administrative and legal steps of the benefits claims process, and work to secure maximum benefits. If the exposure led to permanent disability, additional benefits that include occupational rehabilitation might be awarded.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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