Welder work in a fabrication process that joins usually metals by causing fusion or melting of the metals. Welders work-related injuries are often the result of awkward positions and repetitive motions they find themselves working in. Welders workers compensation injuries usually come from welding job duties over time but can also come from a single traumatic accident such as a fall.
Welders work in all manner of physical positions, always under strain and muscle tension, putting pressure on cervical and lumbar discs, resulting in bulging or herniated discs and then discectomy or fusion surgery, which should be covered by workers compensation.
Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) – also known as “stick welding or electric welding”, uses an electrode that has flux around it to protect the weld puddle. The electrode holder holds the electrode as it slowly melts away. Slag protects the weld puddle from atmospheric contamination.
Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) – also known as TIG (tungsten, inert gas), uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas such as argon or helium.
Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) – commonly termed MIG (metal, inert gas), uses a wire feeding gun that feeds wire at an adjustable speed and flows an argon-based shielding gas or a mix of argon and carbon dioxide (CO2) over the weld puddle to protect it from atmospheric contamination.
Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) – almost identical to MIG welding except it uses a special tubular wire filled with flux; it can be used with or without shielding gas, depending on the filler.
Submerged arc welding (SAW) – uses an automatically fed consumable electrode and a blanket of granular fusible flux. The molten weld and the arc zone are protected from atmospheric contamination by being “submerged” under the flux blanket.
Electroslag welding (ESW) – a highly productive, single pass welding process for thicker materials between 1 inch (25 mm) and 12 inches (300 mm) in a vertical or close to vertical position.
Different energy sources can be used for welding, including a gas flame, an electric arc, a laser, an electron beam, friction, and ultrasound. While often an industrial process, welding may be performed in many different environments, remodeling, and mechanical applications. Welding is a hazardous undertaking and precautions are required to avoid burns, electric shock, vision damage, inhalation of poisonous gases and fumes, and exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin provides legal representation for union welders and nonunion in workers compensation claims, especially involving the cervical spine or lumbar spine. The neck is often injured at work from job duties over time resulting in neck fusion surgery.