Welders can lose their lives or suffer severe injuries from an electrical shock experienced while carrying out their duties at work. But, unfortunately, they will not all get the compensation they deserve. This is because an average insurance company would rather pay less than fair compensation especially when there is no workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.
When this happens, the welder bears the brunt of the mishap. Suppose the accident results in death. The dependents of the deceased will end up with a financial burden. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) has testified that the construction industry accounts for most reported occupational accidents. The state of Florida has high construction activities. Hence, it is a hot spot for welding-related electrical shocks. This article covers welding-related electrical shocks in Florida workplaces and how to get workers’ compensation.
Welding and Electrical Shocks
The electric arc welding process makes use of electricity. It uses the power from an electrical circuit to melt or soften metallic parts to form a joint. Welders may face two types of electrical shocks.
Primary Voltage Shock
Primary voltage shock is most likely to result in loss of life due to the high voltage amount involved. This shock results from contact with high voltage carrying conductors like lead found inside the welding equipment. These electrically active components carry voltage ranging from 230 to 260 volts, which is more than the lethal threshold of 50 volts.
You can avoid primary voltage shock by keeping the internal parts of the welding machine away from your body. Alternatively, the welder should ensure that not only is the power switch turned off, but more importantly, that the input power cord is unplugged. Turning off the power switch of the welding machine alone is not enough to prevent primary voltage shock. As long the power plug is connected, there remains a considerable possibility of electrical activity.
Secondary Voltage Shock
Welders can suffer secondary voltage shock through contact with external components of the welding equipment. Specifically, this happens when the welder’s body contacts both the electric circuit (electrode component) and the metal that is being welded (work component) simultaneously.
Secondary voltage shocks are more prevalent than primary voltage shocks due to the proximity of the welder to the external components than the internal ones. They are also less likely to be deadly because they involve a much lower voltage range of 20 to 100 volts. To prevent secondary shock, the welder must ensure that they do not contact the work and electrode components simultaneously when the output is on.
Dangers of Welding-Related Electrical Shocks
Apart from the risk of death, welding-related electrical shocks have led to severe injuries to welders. These injuries include;
- First to third-degree burns
- Heart attack
- Brain damage
- Lung failure
- Muscle paralysis
- Skin lacerations
Many welders have to climb up buildings or scaffolds to reach the spots where welding will be carried out. Unfortunately, electric shocks have caused welders to lose their balance and fall off from these heights leading to fractures, concussions, and even death. To avoid this, always ensure that the metallic parts of the scaffold do not establish contact with the welding circuits.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
You are entitled to compensation if you have suffered electrical shock injuries from a welding accident while at work. The no-fault position of the law means that you do not have to prove that your employer bears responsibility for the accident.
With the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer in Florida, you can recover compensation without getting shortchanged. Your lawyer will meet with your employer and their insurance company, affirm your rights to compensation, and negotiate for a satisfactory amount. Compensation usually covers any or a combination of:
- Present and future medical bills
- Lost wages
In the case of death, the cost of care for the dependents of the deceased is of primary interest. Suppose negotiations with the deceased employee’s employer do not yield the desired results. In that case, the deceased worker’s legal beneficiaries may file a wrongful death lawsuit and argue their case in court through their attorney.
Contact Work Injury Rights Today!
Dealing with a work injury and pursuing a compensation claim can be challenging. Hence, you need to hire an expert Florida work comp lawyer. When you contact us at Work Injury Rights, you will be working with a team of experts who have gained valuable experience in the Florida work injury terrain. Our goal is to protect your rights and get you the benefits you deserve. We offer free consultation, so contact us now to begin your journey to getting justice.