U.S. Department of Labor
Table of Contents
Overexposure (Welding Fumes): Case History
While working in a confined space, a shipfitter began to cough and feel light-headed. He lifted his welding hood and noticed excessive fumes surrounding him. He was able to get out of the space and into a more open area where co-workers helped him get outdoors. Fortunately, the only immediate result of the overexposure was that he suffered a headache.
Analysis and Preventive Measures
Following the ventilation tube back through the ship, it was discovered that a splice in the vent tube had failed. As a result, there was not adequate ventilation in the confined space where the employee was working. The shipfitter should inspect the vent before and during work to ensure proper air flow.
It is also important to regularly review correct splicing techniques with crews and to encourage periodic checks of vent line condition in order to help prevent this sort of incident.
Ventilation needs to work properly to protect everybody in a space.