How To Avoid Welding Flash Burns

Randall Edwards

How To Avoid Welding Flash Burns

In every welder’s lifetime, they will experience flash burns. Here are a number of ways to treat flash burn incidents. When one thinks of a welder carrying out his craft, they immediately imagine the dangers of the job. In an environment where there is constant high heat and flying sparks this is completely understandable.

When most individuals come in close proximity to a construction site, the sound of jackhammers at work will evoke fear. The same can be said of an individual who sees welders at work. The welding profession is considered one of the most dangerous in the construction industry. Flash burns are a common form of injury in this profession.

Flash burn injuries affect the cornea of the eye. Flash burns happen when the eyes are exposed to too much ultraviolet light, which is produced during welding. It is commonly called “Welder’s Flash” and “Arc Eye.” It is basically similar to having a sun burn except this is in your eye. The corneas are capable of healing themselves, however there is the risk of infection which can cause vision loss. Persons who have experienced welding flash burns compare the incident to having sand in their eyes. This is not always a painful experience. Symptoms may include blurred vision, watery eyes, light sensitivity, and bloodshot eyes.

If you experience a strong flash during a welding routine you need to cease and visit your physician immediately. The advanced stages of flash burns include flash spots, extreme pain, blurriness and vision loss. If this has happened to you the doctor may prescribe Atropine drops, this drug will ease the eye muscle and speed up the healing process.

The doctor may also advise that you use a dressing to cover your eyes. This will give the eyes rest. If the eye is infected, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment. This will arrest any infection in the eye and promote healing. You may be required to make several visits to the doctor for them to check your eyes to see how well they are healing, depending on how serious the flash burns are. If the problem is extremely serious, you will have to visit an eye specialist.

Prevention is always better than cure, and the best way to prevent welding flash burns is to wear the correct eye protection.

Eye protection will reduce the intensity of ultraviolet and infrared light reaching your eyes. It will also protect you from flying objects. It’s always best to purchase a multifunctional helmet with a lens that automatically darkens. Keep your eyes and face a comfortable distance from the arc. This will also offer a level of protection for your eyes. Always have your welding lens on hand before you start a welding job.

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