Welders face many dangers on the job. Toxic exposure, ultraviolet radiation, cuts, and crushing injuries are just some of the risks that are a part of the welding profession.
One risk that welders face is flash burn. Flash burn can occur in several contexts, but welders are at an elevated risk. If you work in welding or have a loved one in the profession, you need to understand the risks and who may be responsible for a welding accident.
The Haun Mena personal injury attorneys explain flash burn welding and who may be responsible for a flash burn injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered from flash burn injuries, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Contact our legal team at Haun Mena for a personalized consultation about your rights.
What is Flash Burn?
Flash burn is an injury to the eyes that is caused by ultraviolet radiation. Bright light can cause a burn to the cornea of the eye. The eye may heal after a period of inflammation, but complications may develop.
Understanding Cornea Damage and Flash Burns
To understand flash burns, you first must understand the cornea. The cornea is a clear tissue that sits on the front of the eyeball. It focuses light through the eye. The cornea has several layers.
For the most part, the cornea can handle and process exposure to light. When the cornea is exposed to too much light, damage can occur. Over time, the injury may heal, but it can cause short-term and long-term pain, limitations, and complications.
(Source: National Cancer Institute, Cornea)
How Does Flash Burn Occur in Welding?
Flash burn can occur in welding because of the bright light of the welding arc. A welding arc can create an intense light. Welding lights produce radiation that spans a range of wavelengths, including UV-A (315 to 400 nm). This ultraviolet radiation can reach the cornea and damage the eye.
(Source: CCOHS: Welding – Radiation and the Effects on Eyes and Skin)
Flash Burn Symptoms
Flash burn symptoms may include:
- Pain in the eyes
- Changes in vision
- Blurred vision
- Twitching of the eyes
- Pressure in the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty looking at light sources
- Watery and bloodshot eyes
- Feeling like there’s something in your eye
Symptoms may not occur right away. It’s common for pain to start a few hours after exposure to the light.
How long does flash burn last?
Flash burns may heal over a period of several days. However, there may be long-term problems, including cataracts. It may also cause temporary blindness. When complications arise, they may be long-lasting and significantly interfere with the victim’s well-being.
How do you diagnose flash burn?
To diagnose flash burn, consider the following:
- The personal history of the individual and their exposure to UV light
- An inventory of symptoms as reported by the victim
- Visual inspection of the eye
- Using a specialized orange dye and light to evaluate the damage to the eye
A person should seek medical care as soon as they realize they may be suffering from flash burn.
How do you fix flash burn?
To fix flash burn, the victim should remove themselves from any additional exposure to UV radiation. They may recover over the course of a few days, but they should be monitored for progress and for the possibility of infection. The exact remedies to use in the healing process may vary and may include drops or dressings. Sunglasses and over the counter pain medication may ease symptoms.
Source: Welding Troop, How Long Does Welders Flash Burn Last?
Can an Employer Be Liable for Flash Burn?
If you’re hurt by a flash burn while welding, there may be parties that are liable for your injuries. If you’re working at the time that you get hurt, an employer or another party may be legally liable to pay damages. You may receive benefits through workers’ compensation insurance, but you may also have a third-party claim if someone other than your employer was responsible for your injuries. There may be multiple compensation avenues for a flash burn injury from welding.
One common contributor to welder’s flash burn is working without the necessary personal protective equipment. If your employer did not provide the needed eye wear, they may have acted negligently to contribute to the injury. An employer should evaluate the dangers in the workplace and take measures to protect their employees. There may be other reasons that the employer or another party acted negligently in allowing you to be exposed to harmful light and radiation.
What Compensation Can You Receive From a Welding Legal Claim?
A flash burn injury can cause significant personal difficulties. It can be hard to function and go about your daily activities when it hurts to look at the light. You need to rest to recover from your injuries. When complications develop, they may be long-lasting. You may not be able to work, and you may have ongoing medical care needs. You may have significant pain and suffering that occurs along with your symptoms.
All these losses may be recognized if you have a valid negligence claim. If another party is responsible for allowing your exposure to the light, they may be responsible to pay compensation. Losses may cover both economic and non-economic losses. Pain and suffering may be included if the law allows it. Even the mental trauma associated with your injury and its limitations may be compensated.
Lawyers for Welding Flash Burn Injuries
If you have suffered injury from a welding-related flash burn, our lawyers want to fight for your legal rights and ensure that your interests are protected. Don’t wonder if you can take legal action. Contact us for an evaluation of your case. Learn about your rights and options.
At Haun Mena, we’re proud to help people who suffer injuries. You deserve skilled legal representation and an experienced legal team on your side. That’s the Haun Mena legal team. Contact us today to start your claim.