New Jersey Welding Burn Injury Attorneys
Fighting for compensation for welding, cutting and brazing injuries in NJ
There are many dangers associated with welding, from falls at construction sites to neurological problems from breathing dangerous fumes. If you have suffered an injury from welding, you may have other legal options in addition to workers’ compensation.
The New Jersey personal injury law firm of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, represents victims of welding accidents and injuries throughout the state. Our lawyers have more than a decade of experience aggressively protecting the rights of workers who have been injured in construction accidents or by dangerous products. We are proud of our record of holding manufacturers and employers accountable for putting the lives and health of workers at risk.
What makes welding so dangerous?
One of the most common injuries from welding is trauma to the eye, but there are many other hazards of which to be aware:
- Slag chip debris
- Toxic fumes from inadequate ventilation
- Fires in the welding area
- Explosions from gas leaks or leftover vapors
- Falling from scaffolding when working at high elevations
How do NJ welding accidents happen?
Because welding is a dangerous industry, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has rules and regulations job sites must follow. These regulations spell out how welding equipment must be used and maintained, as well as required safety equipment and devices. If construction companies and contractors do not follow these safety rules, workers can suffer injury. As a welder, you may be eligible for compensation if you are injured due to dangerous working conditions.
It is true that some welding accidents are caused by operator error. However, others happen from malfunctioning or defective equipment that fails during use. Injuries caused by welding accidents can require ongoing medical treatment, time off work, surgery, and even permanent disability. The attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can help you seek compensation for your losses.
What are some common welding-related injuries?
There are many different kinds of welding injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Electrical shock injuries
- Eye damage (including “arc eye”) caused by UV radiation
- Fallsfrom welding on elevated structures
- Hot metal slag burns
- Lung damage from breathing toxic gases associated with stainless steel and galvanized metals
- Various cancers
- Manganese poisoning and manganism (also known as secondary Parkinson’s disease) from welding rods
Welders can also suffer hearing loss without proper protection. According to Hear-It.org, exposure to heavy metals and fumes combined with loud noises can cause harm to welders’ hearing. Studies on animals show that manganese, which is present in welding fumes, can “lead to permanent damage to the auditory nerve fibres and cells of the inner ear.”
Employers should always supply workers with proper hearing protection, like earplugs or noise-eliminating earphones, as well as sound barriers. Workers should also be provided regular breaks where they can have relief from sustained periods of noise. If you work in the welding industry, consider getting regular hearing tests to ensure you are not suffering cumulative hearing loss.
While workers’ compensation is designed to pay benefits to injured workers, these benefits are limited and do not include compensation for pain and suffering. If the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party (such as the manufacturer of welding rods, helmets, ear or eye protection), our New Jersey product liability lawyers may be able to help you obtain full compensation by filing a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
What is a flash burn?
One of the hallmarks of welding is the bright blue light of a welding torch. However, this ultraviolet (UV) light is extremely dangerous to the eyes and skin, and often causes welders severe injury. UV light is a form of radiation, which can be harmful to the human body in excessive levels. Eye injuries caused by overexposure to UV light are called flash burns, or photokeratitis.
Flash burns are like getting a sunburn on the cornea. They are the reason you should never look directly into the sun (like during a solar eclipse) without protective eyewear. Flash burns cause inflammation, pain, watery eyes, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. Typically flash burns will heal on their own within a few days. However, the longer a person is exposed to UV light, the more severe an injury can be. Long-term exposure can increase the risk of permanent eye injury. If infection sets in, individuals are at risk for permanent vision loss.
Talk to the injury attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP if you suffered a flash burn on the job and need legal advice. We can help.
What are the safety guidelines for welders in New Jersey?
OSHA sets the rules and regulations which employers must follow to keep the workplace safe for welders. Following are three crucial safety guidelines:
- Protective clothing. Protective clothing is important, as it will shield your skin from both burns and UV radiation. Typically, welders wear full-body jumpsuits and/or protective aprons.
- Eye protection. Proper eye protection is an absolute necessity for welders. Without it, welders can develop cataracts, corneal burns, or blindness. Welders should use goggles and shields.
- Respiratory protection. Because welding produces toxic fumes and gases, employers must ensure workers perform their jobs in well-ventilated areas.
Our central NJ lawyers can provide informed guidance about what party or parties were liable for your or your loved one’s injuries.
What is my NJ welding injury case worth?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for benefits and compensation in one of two ways. When injured while performing your job, you can seek benefits through your workers’ compensation policy through your employer. This provides reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability. However, workers’ comp does not provide for pain and suffering or emotional distress.
If you file a personal injury action, you can seek a wider range of benefits. In addition to medical bills and lost wages, you may also request damages for mental trauma, chronic pain, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Remember, these types of cases are extremely complex and require a law firm that has the experience to establish negligence. Our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of individuals and families injured by dangerous products.
Experienced New Jersey welding injury attorneys
Welding injuries are typically severe and sometimes life-threatening. Your legal options may vary depending on whether you are an employee or contractor, as well as the circumstances that led to your injuries. The injury attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP are here to help. From offices in Edison, Red Bank and Toms River, we are available to represent you in a personal injury or wrongful death litigation matters. Call our qualified NJ lawyers at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to request a free consultation.