A very common question that gets asked is “What are the risks involved in underwater welding?”
This article will try to cover what are the risks involved in underwater welding and why underwater welders get paid above average.
One of the article “Underwater welders make up to $300,000 a year” is an interesting read.
Why marine welders get attractive wages
Welding is a task which is unavoidable in many industries such as automobiles, mechanical, electrical, marine, civil, and many more. It is used in erections and fabrications in installations and infrastructures. The welding process in underwater welding is different from the regular one.
If damages vessels need to be repaired, marine welding is the technology that people use for repairing the same. This is a very specialized profession in the shipping oil industry as well as in the defense operations. This is one the jobs that pay the most attractive salaries. However, the underwater welding risks involved in the job are worth the salary that people earn.
Underwater welding – good payment with high risks
Water has very little resistance against electricity. If it is left grounded then it can flow very easily through the water. All marine welders are subject facing electric shock, especially when they are involved in wet welding process.
When welders are working on splash zones, they get to face more underwater welding risks as the waves may throw the welders off balance and result in loose grounding cables. So, proper preparations for marine welding projects are very important.
Welders should always wear rubber gloves and suits. Completely insulated and watertight cables should be in place and if there are any exposed parts, people should insulate the areas with rubber tape, followed by scotch coat and electric tape.
Also, welders have to use fully insulated waterproof electrodes.When it comes to underwater welding, both the structure and the welder are at high risks. Welders need to protect themselves from electrocution, so they should be insulated. The voltage of underwater welding sets should be controlled.
How marine welders can avoid a few underwater welding risks
It is a known fact that pockets of hydrogen and oxygen formed by the arc can explode. Marine welding produces hydrogen and oxygen which can explode if they are combined in elevated levels. At the time of wet welding, marine welders can hear small popping sounds from oxygen and hydrogen bubbles that travel upward and collect.
These sounds should be more than enough for the welders to take necessary steps. In order to avoid such dangerous situations, welders can look for areas that can trap gases. Also, they can try welding from the highest points to the lowest when possible. Electrodes which cross then thousand degrees Fahrenheit in an environment that is surrounded by gases might explode.
Since, marine welders work several 100 feet under the sea, they tend to face pressure changes which can result in dangerous effects when they come up. The bends or decompression sickness happens when marine welders make their way to the surface quickly, as this is when the dissolved gases get into their bloodstream. This can result in fatigue, dull pain and itching in the areas such as lungs, ears, joints, brain, skin and spinal cord.
In order to stay away from such underwater welding risks, welders should avoid a few things such as consuming alcohol, becoming dehydrated, flying immediately after diving, continuous diving sessions and ascending after deep dives.It is a well-known fact that the deeper the welders go, the colder the water will be. If water gets into their skin, then their temperature will drop immediately. This in turn could result in hypothermia, respiratory problems and even death.
Eliminate the Risks Involved in Underwater Welding through proper precautions
When the breathing equipment like oxygen tanks, hoses or masks malfunction, then it will be a major problem for marine welders who can’t reach the surface quickly. Since, the oxygen for welders is supplied from the surface; the umbilical may rip or twist. Such dancers will be amplified when people are involved in projects high demolition, salvaging and water current.
Welders have to take precautions, as nitrogen can be built in their bloodstream. Apart from these, safe-arc welding measures should be taken. As there are severe underwater welding risks are involved, even an entry level marine welder gets a good salary in this profession. Under the sea welding is largely employed in the marine engineering for installing gas and oil rigs.
Based on the procedures and equipment involved in the process, marine welding can be classified. The most common one is called as MMA or manual metal arc building and it is used for repairing activities in deep water. Hyperbaric and Cofferdam welding processes are generally carried out for marine welding operations.
These are used for welding offshore structures, steel pipelines, submerged parts of underwater structures and large ships. In order to avoid welding risks underwater, welders can take safety measures like emergency gas or air supply, standby decompression chambers and divers.
For people who think that the wages they get from the job overcome the welding risks, marine welding can be an awarding career. However, some people might not be clear about which path they should take to get into the industry. They can go online and search for underwater welding jobs, salary and underwater welding risks to understand more about the job.