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
- Musculoskeletal injuries in Welders. Labour Department, Government of Canada.
- American Welding Society. http://www.aws.org/wj/dec02/feature3.html
- 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.