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The Many Dangers Of Being An Ironworker

Ironworkers typically work behind the scenes, but they are literally the backbone of most construction operations. According to statistics released by the United States Department of Labor, injuries from ironworking processes and those sustained while fabricating, assembling, erecting and installing metal for buildings have the highest percentage when compared to all other types of construction workers. It’s a highly dangerous career path, so an ironworker has to be specifically trained and understand how to limit their risks when they are performing their job.

The most common types of injuries that befall ironworkers are typically related to the type of ironwork that they do. In general, there are four main injuries that happen frequently.

Burns

Since one of the tools of the trade for an ironworker is welding, the risk of burn injuries is high. Using welding equipment at high temperatures exposes them to hand and leg burns, and flying sparks can burn their eyes if they aren’t wearing the proper protective eyewear. There are times when the burns can be extensive and severe. In some cases welding can also lead to high heat conditions that can cause vapors from toxic materials to be inhaled and in severe cases, this can lead to death. That is why wearing the proper protective gear is so critical to reducing the risk of injury and death for ironworkers.

Falls

Often ironworkers have to work on high surfaces, like when they are erecting building structures. Being many feet above the ground and in dangerous positions puts them at a high risk for fall injuries. Sometimes just climbing to the worksite is risky enough to cause them to lose their balance and fall on slick surfaces that are either icy or wet. There are many safety measures that an ironworker can employ to reduce the risk of falling, but due to the nature of the ironworking industry, ironworkers are usually subjected to dangerously high environments.

Cuts

When they are dealing with metal cutting, ironworkers are handling sharp edges and things that can cut and tear. It’s not just about working with jagged materials; ironworkers also use equipment that predisposes them to cuts and scrapes, like sheers. Without being in a sterile environment, it is not uncommon for major and minor cuts to become infected and cause more serious injuries that can be life-threatening.

Muscle tears and strain

Manitoba Ironworkers usually have to carry heavy pieces of steel and other metal materials around. Transporting heavy things from one place to another, while having to balance on unstable surfaces, can be a recipe for disaster for wear and tear injuries or strains and muscle tears. In addition, while working with metal material, there are times when an ironworker has to use their body to bend and shape metal, which forces them to use a whole lot of strength. The repetitive motions that ironworkers must perform make them more susceptible to muscle strains and tears.

Why ironworkers need training and certification

The dangerous nature of ironworking means those who work in the industry are more susceptible to being injured while on the job. There are many ways that ironworkers can minimize the potential for injury, but it only takes one small misstep for something serious to happen. One of the most dangerous jobs in a highly dangerous industry, ironworking isn’t for the faint of heart.

If you are going to train to be an ironworker, it is imperative that you understand the risks of your actions and that you are properly trained to minimize your injuries. Using safety procedures effectively and not taking risks is integral to keeping yourself safe. That is why to become an ironworker you not only need to have training, but you also have to be an apprentice.

The more experience you have, the less likely you are to hurt yourself. Additionally, to work on many construction sites there are specific certifications that you will need to have. Different industries will have various requirements, so honing in on which industry you want to work in is important to getting the qualifications necessary to gain employment and to keep yourself safe and injury-free while at work. Don’t forget to work with a Richmond accident law firm for claims related to accidents.

 

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