WELDERS BEWARE!

ACID_RAIN28

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,409
Reaction
60
Just a little bit info for all us welders out there. At my work we recently lost the main welder to disability. Reason being that for 20 years or so when he goes to weld he flips his hood down with his neck. He said that it has been a pain problem for him for the last 5 or so years, tried the cyropractor, but that did nothing now he must do a spinal fusion. I wouldn't have posted this if it was a rare deal but I have this is not the only case I have seen. My boss to now must resort to using his hand to flip his hood down, as well as a good portion of the older people I know that weld. For me I had a tank of a hood when I first started my job and after a day of fliping it with my neck I went home sore. So I forced the habit of fliping it with my hand and I bought a high dollar auto hood, after seeing what these guys go through with the pain it was worth the effort to me, and now I might flip it with my neck mabey once a month only if it is a last resort. Now I may do what I do Fabrication my whole life but if I don't I can rest asure that I won't have to deal with that aspect of ageing.

Most of us around here are not of the geeze yet so I hope that you will take this info and use it for the best. And you don't have to do welding all day every day to do a precation like this, it can't hurt to get into the habit, it took me a couple of days and I will never go back.

Dave
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
Posts
5,147
Reaction
107
Good point. Unfortunately an auto darkening helmet reduces but does not end the flipping.

Another item surfacing is that manganese from welding fumes may be causing Parkinsons Disease. There is plenty of that in our work. Many lawsuits going on right now. Lots of info on the web.

Stop flipping and use plenty of ventilation.
 

EQuin

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,276
Reaction
16
Thanks for the great info, fellas. I've been taking welding classes at the local community college, and they taught us to use the "head-flick" hood-drop method. I guess I'll invest in an auto-darkening unit. Any suggestions?

And what's this about manganese? Is this a common element released when MIG welding mild steel using CO2 or Ar/CO2 mix?

Thanks for any extra info.
 

ACID_RAIN28

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,409
Reaction
60
Like I said before I only flip with my neck one everymonth or two, the rest of the time is with my hand no matter what the situation. Havn't run into the parkinsons problem, I know I should probably wear a mask but never really knew why. Is it present with all forms of welding?
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
Posts
2,429
Reaction
27
3M makes a fliter for their respiator that is rated for radionucilides and similar. Should be good for gaseous metals too. I know I caught hell for not wearing mine from an accquiantence who is a naval shipyard welding foreman.
 

UndercoverFab

Well-Known Member
Posts
233
Reaction
0
how do you guys fit a respirator under your helmet? when mines flipped down its prety close to my nose/mouth, i found out about the neck flipping too late if i have my helmet on for more then an hour or two i go to bed with neck spasm`s garuanteed and i`m only 22, hope i dont get parkinsons anytime soon.
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
Posts
5,147
Reaction
107
This is not doom and gloom, but just some things to be aware of. I've been flipping helmets for a lot longer than I care to admit, and am not about to stop. This is what is called a "repetitive strain injury". If you do anything enough times it can cause permanent harm, just like carpel tunnel injury. It's the repetition, not the severity, that brings it on. Helmet flipping can be minimized with a good auto-darkening helmet and good adjustment of the pivot screws.

Manganese is present in nearly all steel. Welding, plasma cutting, and even grinding make it easily breathable. This also is a case of long term, repetitive exposure. It takes a lot of exposure to cause permanent harm. It's not rare for welders to get the "shakes" (nearly constant shaking hands) after many years. This was always passed off as just one of those things that happens from working or concentrating with your hands too much. Now we know differently. Manganese is not the only bad thing released in the welding process. All original packaging of welding rod has a ton of warnings about fumes. So do most grinding wheels and, of course, chemical containers. Read the labels, this stuff is way beyond cigarettes.

There are few things you can constantly breathe besides clean air that will not eventually cause damage. There is no need to panic, but it also is naive to pretend that metals, silicon, or chemicals are OK to put in your lungs. Ventilation and/or filtration should always be used. Production TIG welding should be done over a down draft table if possible. On site welding should at least have a fan moving the air around and, if possible, out of the area.

Using caution, common sense, heeding warning labels, and educating yourself on the subject should keep you out of trouble.
 
Top