Neck Pain and Welding

Musculoskeletal injuries, such as strains and sprains, can occur when a welder is welding in a sustained or awkward position with a heavy face shield. This can be further perpetuated when both a hard hat and a welding helmet are used in combination.  In addition, by working long hours in a repetitive position, cumulative effects may occur in the neck that increases the risk of injury.

Welding helmets, worn for protection and weighing as much as 3 lb in some cases, place an additional load on the neck. Wearing a helmet down and standing in a common position for welding generates a lot of stress on the neck and upper back. A welder in this position may be generating more than 50 lb of internal force on his or her neck and back.

Guidelines For A Good Working Posture While Welding

• Learn to recognize symptoms of work-related musculoskeletal disorders or repetitive strain injuries. Make sure you take breaks and avoid staying in any sustained posture for too long.

•Avoid awkward body positions that cause fatigue, or reduce concentration. Position yourself in a stable, comfortable position.

• Always use your hand to lower your helmet. Do not use a “jerking” motion of your neck and head.

• Position the welding item as flat as possible, on a horizontal surface, between waist and elbow height. Try to position scaffolding at a comfortable height to allow working in a seated position.

• Always store materials and tools within normal reach.

source; Family First Chiropractic – www. family1stchiro.ca
 Resources
1. Musculoskeletal injuries in Welders. Labour Department, Government of Canada.
2. American Welding Society. http://www.aws.org/wj/dec02/feature3.html
3. Malikraj, S., A.K. Ganguly, and T.S. Kumar. Productivity Improvement Potential Analysis Through Ergonomic Intervention in Arc Welding. 2010. Technology Today Quarterly Journal 2(4):34-44.

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