U.S. Department of Labor
Process: Hot Work
Hazard: Eye Injuries (continued)
A worker was given an assignment to arc-weld some fixtures to the deck plates on board a vessel under construction. He had not welded for some time and had stored his welding gear in his gang box along with other tools and equipment. He found the hood at the bottom of the gang box. Although it looked a little "beat up," the filter lens was intact so he cleaned it up a bit and went to work. That night he awoke with the feeling of sand being rubbed in his eyes. By morning he was experiencing severe eye pain. Unable to work he sought medical treatment for welders flash. He told the physicians assistant that he couldn't understand how he got a flash. After all, he was wearing his PPE and the lens in his hood was in good shape.
Analysis and Preventive Measures
The worker had stored his hood (already not in the best of condition) in a gang box where over time it had been subjected to considerable abuse from being tossed around and having tools and equipment dropped on it. Although the lens had not been damaged, a small crack, hardly noticeable, had developed in the hood. Small, yes. But large enough to admit ultraviolet radiation and allow the exposure to occur. Small cracks or holes in welding hoods can occur from improper care, or by being struck by molten slag.
Inspection prior to each use will assure that it will provide protection from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Small cracks or holes in a welding hood can be spotted by holding the hood up to the light. If any light shines through, replace the hood, do not try to repair it!