Welding. Physical / Chemical and Ergonomic Risks

Physical risks are considered as several forms of energy, such as:

  • Noises;
  • Excessive temperatures;
  • Vibrations;
  • Radiation;
  • Moisture.

The machinery and equipment used by companies noises that can reach excessive levels, which can cause short, medium and long term serious damage to health. Transform exposure time, sound level and individual sensitivity, as harmful changes manifest themselves immediately or gradually. The higher the noise level, the shorter the occupational exposure time must be.

Tolerance limit for continuous or intermittent noise:

Observation: dB = Decibels the bel is used to measure sound units or energy in general and is more worked within the decibel scale (dB). Decibel meter device that measures the amount of noise in the environments.

The noise acts directly on the nervous system, causing:

  • nervous fatigue;
  • mental changes: memory loss, irritability, difficulty in coordinating ideas;
  • hypertension;
  • change in heart rate;
  • change in the caliber of blood vessels;
  • change in respiratory rate;
  • gastrointestinal disorders;
  • decreased night vision;
  • difficulty in color perception.

In addition to these consequences, noise also affects the hearing aid causing temporary or permanent hearing loss.

To avoid or reduce damage caused by noise in the workplace, the following measures can be taken:

  • Collective protection measures: enclosure of the noise producing machine; noise isolation.
  • Individual protection measure: provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) (in this case, hearing protection).
    PPE must be provided when it is impossible to eliminate noise or as a complementary measure.
  • Medical measures: periodic audiometric examinations, removal from the workplace, relay.
  • Educational measures: guidance on the correct use of PPE, awareness campaign.
  • Administrative measures: make the use of PPE mandatory: control its use.


In the industry it is common to use machines and equipment that produce vibrations, which can be harmful to the worker. Vibrations can be: Localized – (in certain parts of the body).
They are caused by manual, electric and pneumatic tools. Consequences: neurovascular changes in the hands, problems in the joints of the hands and arms; osteoporosis (loss of bone substance). Generalized – (or the whole body). Injuries occur to operators of large machines, such as truck, bus and tractor drivers. Consequences: Spinal injuries; low back pain. To avoid or reduce the consequences of vibrations, it is recommended to take turns with workers exposed to risks (shorter exposure time).


They are forms of energy that are transmitted by electromagnetic waves. The absorption of radiation by the body is responsible for the appearance of several lesions. They can be classified into two groups:

Ionizing radiation – X-ray and radiation therapy operators are often exposed to this type of radiation, which can affect the
organism or manifest itself in the descendants of the exposed persons.

Non-ionizing radiation – Non-ionizing radiation is infrared radiation, which comes from operation in ovens, or from oxyacetylene welding, ultraviolet radiation such as that generated by operations in electric welding, or even laser rays, microwaves, and others. Its effects are visual disturbances (conjunctivitis, cataracts), burns, skin lesions, and others.

In order for there to be control of the radiation action for the worker, it is necessary to take:

  • Collective protection measures: isolation of the radiation source (ex: protective screen for welding operation), enclosure of the radiation source (ex: lead-coated floors and walls in x-ray rooms).
  • Individual protection measures: supply of PPE appropriate to the risk (eg apron, glove, leg and shaving sleeve for welder, glasses for oven operators).
  • Administrative measure: (ex: pocket dosimeter for x-ray technicians).
  • Medical measure: periodic examinations.

Exposure of the body to high temperatures:

They can cause:

  • dehydration;
  • skin rash;
  • cramps;
  • physical fatigue;
  • psychoneurotic disorders;
  • cardiocirculatory problems;
  • insolation.

Cold or heat can cause

  • wounds;
  • cracking and necrosis of the skin;
  • freezing: stay frozen;
  • worsening of rheumatic diseases;
  • predisposition to accidents;
  • predisposition to diseases of the respiratory tract.
  • To control the harmful actions of extreme temperatures when
    worker is required to take measures:
  • collective protection: local exhaust ventilation with the function of removing heat and gases from the environments, isolating heat / cold sources.
  • personal protection: supply of PPE (eg apron, boot, hood,
    special gloves for working in the cold).


The activities or operations carried out in flooded or soaked places, with excessive humidity, capable of causing damage to the health of workers, are unhealthy situations and must have the attention of the prevention professionals through checks.
carried out in these places to study the implementation of a control measure.
Exposure of the worker to humidity can cause diseases of the respiratory system, falls, skin diseases, circulatory diseases, among others. Collective protection measures can be taken to control worker exposure to humidity (such as the study of changes in the work process, placement of wooden platforms, drains for drainage) and individual protection measures
(such as the supply of PPE – rubber gloves, boots, apron for electroplating workers, kitchen, cleaning and others).

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bruno costa