How Dangerous is Underwater Welding?

Underwater welding is a profession that requires significant specialized training – and a great deal of courage. Because welders are often submerged at elevated barometric pressures, there are a number of challenges that divers face each day on the job. The diving accident attorneys at Waitz & Downer in Houma, LA are experienced with offshore injury cases and can help you get the compensation that’s rightfully yours.

What is Underwater Welding?

What does a day in the life of an underwater welder look like? To understand the dangers of this job, you need to know what it entails.

Most divers will meet with their team at the marina and get on a crew boat to travel several hours offshore to the oil rig. Some jobs might take weeks, but larger jobs might take months. Once at the rig, divers are expected to dive underwater and make repairs to the rig.

Underwater welders may also work on underwater pipelines, docking facilities, ships, barges, dams, and nuclear power facilities.

How dangerous is underwater welding? That depends. There are inherent risks associated with the job, but the way a company operates will also have an impact on how hazardous the working conditions are.

The Dangers of Underwater Welding

There are some risks associated with underwater welding regardless of the way an employer operates. These risks include:

  • Hypothermia
  • Decompression sickness
  • Electric shock
  • Hearing impairment
  • Musculoskeletal issues
  • Breakdown of dental amalgam
  • Cognitive issues
  • Explosion

If the diver’s equipment should fail, the risk of drowning is a very real possibility.  The OSHA reports that there are between 6 and 13 fatalities per year in the commercial diving industry. With a small population of 10,000 workers, this translates to a fatality rate of 50 workers per 1,000 over a working lifetime (45 years).

The good news is that advancements in technology and safety protocols have helped lower fatality rates.

Offshore Injury Attorney in Houma, LA

With over 30 years of maritime law experience, the attorneys at Waitz & Downer have the expertise to handle offshore accident injury claims. Don’t handle this on your own. Contact a knowledgeable maritime attorney in Houma, Baton Rouge, or Thibodaux, LA  today at (985) 876-0870!

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