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Welding hazards while working in Texas oil fields

One place where welders may end up working is in Texas oil fields. While this is mostly a safe and lucrative occupation, you do face certain hazards while on the job.

Safety is critical in keeping you from unnecessarily suffering serious injuries. This article points out several vulnerabilities you face without the right safety precautions, equipment and protection.

Potentially harmful gases and fumes

The complex metal oxide compounds given off as you weld could jeopardize your health. Outside of keeping your face as protected and far away from these fumes as possible, the area in which you work should have proper ventilation, including local exhaust in order to keep breathable air around you and in your vicinity. You may also want to brush up on safe, consumable thresholds mandated by OSHA-permissible exposure limits (PEL) and ACGIH threshold limit values (TLV). 

If you have trouble breathing, or otherwise recognize the air is not clear, the ventilation equipment may not function properly. If your symptoms fail to resolve or get worse, you probably need medical attention.

The potential for explosions and fires

The significant amount of heat creating as you weld, along with the spatter and sparks created by the process, could cause fires and/or explosions. This risk exists under normal circumstances, but if you work in an oil field, the danger could increase dramatically.

Your employer needs to provide you with everything you need to prepare for and guard against these eventualities.

Other potential hazards

You face additional hazards as you perform your duties as well. Some of them are below:

  • One immediate risk you face is from electric shock. The danger comes not only from the shock itself, but also from a fall you may take when it happens.
  • Not having the appropriate personal protection equipment, such as flame-resistant and treated cotton clothing, helmets with side shields and hearing protection, could also lead to injury.
  • If your work puts you in an elevated or confined space, it could cause you injury.
  • Clutter and debris cannot only cause injuries directly, but indirectly, if they catch fire for instance.
  • Failing to keep abreast of the latest safety practices could also get you hurt.

You have a lot to watch out for as a welder, but when you count the dangers of doing your work in an oil field, it only increases your vulnerability to injury. If you do suffer work-related injuries, you may pursue workers' compensation benefits and possibly a third-party claim as well, dependent on the circumstances.

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