Underwater welding offers a range of well-compensated job opportunities, particularly for welders who work offshore. They may work on pipelines, oil rigs and ships.
Others who are trained in underwater welding work on bridges, dams and docked vessels on construction projects. Many do repairs and surveying.
The most common risks
Like any occupation that involves being underwater for long periods, those who do it have to be in good shape. Most underwater welding jobs require workers to be certified “fit for duty.”
However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still at risk of developing serious conditions like hypothermia, decompression sickness and damage to their lungs and ears. These can result from diving as well as being submerged in water – particularly cold water.
Underwater welders also face the risk of suffering serious and potentially fatal injuries. The most common is electrocution. This can happen if the equipment hasn’t been thoroughly tested for use underwater.
Drowning is another potential risk. Even though underwater welders know how to swim, they can become entangled in equipment lines or other obstacles. Because underwater welders are often working around potentially explosive materials, deadly explosions are also a serious risk.
The risk of underwater welding accidents can be minimized by companies ensuring that the equipment their employees are using is well maintained and in good working condition. Regular safety training, strict safety protocols and protective equipment are also a necessity.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or work-related condition that could and should have been prevented, it’s crucial to explore all avenues of compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, long-term care and more. It’s wise to seek experienced legal guidance.