Welding illness claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

The Health and Safety Executive has estimated that approximately 40-50 people who are engaged in welding for a living require hospitalisation each year. Welding illness is relatively random: some welders are unaffected by their occupation, while others can suffer a range of symptoms.

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Welding illness can range from minor complaints that resolve within a short period of time, to major conditions that drastically alter quality of life.

Welder wearing mask

Do I have a claim for welding illness?

If you have been diagnosed with welding illness in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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What causes welding illness?

A welding accident, in which ultra violet and infra red radiation affects the welder, can cause serious burns to the skin. 'Arc eye', in which the surface of the eye is eroded by radiation, can also be caused by a welding accident. Both burns and 'arc eye' can be the result of an employer failing to provide effective personal protective equipment, or as the result of an employee neglecting to use such equipment correctly.

Welding illness can also be caused by the production of fumes during the welding process. A lack of appropriate ventilation or failure to use the correct personal protective equipment can cause welders to ingest toxic amounts of fumes. This ingestion can be extremely detrimental to the health of the welder, and may result in the necessity to change careers, or an inability to work in any capacity.

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What conditions can be caused by welding fumes?

Welding fume fever can appear very similar to the 'flu. It usually resolves after a period of time, and it is unlikely to cause long term effects on the health of the welder.

The function of the lungs can be temporarily affected by the ingestion of welding fumes. This can mean that you have difficulty breathing that escalates over the course of your week at work. If exposure is limited thereafter, you may not experience any lasting effects.

If the area in which you are welding is not appropriately ventilated, you may develop chronic bronchitis or occupational asthma. This is caused by the fumes irritating the lining of the lungs, and can drastically affect your day to day life, making breathing difficult and laborious. The inhalation of rosin, a resin sometimes used by welders, can also be a precursor to occupational asthma. Unfortunately, the effects of this can be permanent and risk your life.

Welder's Siderosis, also known as Welder's Lung, can occur when tiny pieces of iron get into the lungs. This can happen to people who are involved in welding carbon steels. This condition can also make breathing difficult, and reduce your ability to complete simple tasks or engage in exercise.

Manganism can result from welding carbon steel. Also known as manganese poisoning, the effects of this can be extremely debilitating. Symptoms often mimic those of Parkinson's Disease, and may include trembling, shaking, difficulties with balance, slurred speech, problems with walking, impotence, feeling tired all the time, and leg cramps during the night.

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Can welding illnesses be prevented?

Your employer has a duty to prevent welding illness from occurring. Employers are obliged to ensure that the area in which you are working is well ventilated, and to provide appropriate personal protective equipment. Organisations that employ welders are also responsible for conducting regular risk assessments in order to protect the safety of all staff, and prevent welding illnesses from developing.

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No Win, No Fee agreements and welding injury claims

A No Win, No Fee claim is started once the Claimant agrees, with their lawyer, a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a CFA).

The CFA explains the service your lawyer provides in addition to the success fee. The "success fee" is the percentage to be taken from the compensation award once your claim is won.

You will be able to prioritise your rest and recovery, knowing that you will never be out of pocket and there will be absolutely nothing to pay at the outset. You have absolutely no hidden charges when choosing a Quittance solicitor.

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Calculate my welding illness compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our work accident compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the QLS team

Our national panel of solicitors handle all types of industrial disease claims and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and catastrophic injury claims. Our solicitors are selected for their track record in winning claims and their knowledge and expertise.

Click here to meet more of the Quittance Legal Services team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Tim Fieldhouse Industrial Disease Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Jonathan Speight, Senior litigator

About the author

Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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