Friday, March 9, 2012

All that was left was his boots!

I came across a web page titled ‘Welcome to worldwide welding’ and it soon became apparent that the author (an ex-welder himself), doesn’t think too highly of his past profession.

“I used to be a welder. I was employed by Newport News Shipbuilding to build aircraft carriers and aircraft carrier parts. I did it for five years until 1992 and hated every minute of it.”

He makes it known that the perks of the job are downright miserable and what a welder has to look forward to, is heat, dirt and hemorrhoids.

Statistics in the United States reveal that welding is a profession that doesn’t favour longevity and it’s apparently often said that there’s no such thing as an old welder. Albeit that welding is intrinsically risky, our intrepid ex-welder suggests that its poor safety record can largely be attributed to the fact that the individuals who go in for it, generally aren’t among the sharpest tools in the shed. He includes a segment titled 'Dead Welder Stupid Welder' and this is one example he uses to state his case:

“The shipyard is famous for having hundreds of cranes used for lifting heavy loads. Many of these cranes operate off a high voltage rail and track systems similar to that of a city subway. The largest crane has its track and rail underground and as this behemoth moves, steel plates rise up from underneath and allow the wheels to track forward.

Well, since the shipyard is contracted by government to build nuclear warships, it is a secure facility which means that everyone on site has to at all times be wearing a security badge. One welder accidentally dropped his badge down a hole between the steel plates that cover the high voltage rail belonging to the large crane. The welder found a long piece of wire, fashioned it into a hook and stuck it down the hole to fish out his badge. When the hook made contact with the rail the voltage was so intense, that his body instantly exploded and all that was left was his safety boots.”

...... ouch

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manager


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