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Underwater welders and the risks they face

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2016 | Maintenance & Cure

Marine structures are highly susceptible to rust partly because of the higher concentration of salt in the environment. As such, underwater welders are in high demand and this profession can provide New Yorkers with a lucrative income. Along with the good pay however, also comes some risk.

Water Welders points out that one of these risks are those associated with diving itself. For example, equipment can get torn, such as umbilical cords, or it can malfunction. An oxygen tank or hose that doesn’t work as it should can expose workers to the risk of drowning, especially if they are not close to the surface. Decompression is another problem that can occur. If the company fails to enforce the rules pertaining to decompression, it could lead to a sickness known as diver bends. This can cause symptoms in the divers’ spinal cord, brain lungs and other parts such as fatigue or a dull pain.

Explosions are another hazard that underwater welders face according to Officers of the Watch. A spark could ignite gasses around the welder, especially if they are rich in hydrogen or oxygen. The use of electricity itself in the welding process also poses a risk to workers. They must always be aware of everything that is around them and take extra care if they are not fully submerged. A live electrode from the torch could also come into contact with tools made out of metal, creating an electric shock. AC currents are also known as having extreme danger around water and if companies use them, workers could find themselves in serious trouble.