Tuesday December 19 2017

Can welding cause me to hear bell-like noises?

Mr Murangira one of the beneficiaries welding a table. Photo by Otushabire Tibyange


By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I am a welder. Can welding cause me to hear bell-like noises?

Dear Enoch,
Welding is the method of joining two metal parts together by applying intense heat and in Uganda welding rods are commonly used. Consequently, formed fumes, heat, sound and light can be a health hazard unless protection against them is done. Smoke and fumes generated by welding are the most common health risks, as they are extremely toxic. Substances found in smoke can affect the lungs, heart, kidneys, eyes, skin and central nervous system both in the short term and in the long term.
People are more scared of eye injuries posed by welding and usually emphasise using eye protection but not against other injuries including the ears. Apparently, it is your ears that are getting injured and apart from suspending welding, you require visiting a doctor especially the one for Ears, Nose & throat.
For the time being, you may have to suspend using ear phones, for your phone calls or music and use speakers on your phone instead of putting the phone close to your ears.
All welders should receive training on safe use of equipment and processes, safe work practices, and emergency procedures and while working, they should always wear protective equipment for eyes (such as Helmets, goggles); masks, protective clothing and ear plugs.