Welding Accidents

Hazardous Potential Energy

Hazardous Potential Energy
I think it's ok to laugh at this video.. the guy just bounces off the pipe like he's riding a bronco. LOL but it soon becomes sobering when you realize this could happen to anyone. It's not so easy to see potential energy stored in everyday things or jobs we are doing... and It really hurts when we get hit with that (now kinetic) energy. This potential energy is best described as some weight up high that can drop on you, or a compressed spring ready to deliver a punch. Flammable or Explosive liquids and gasses also fit into the category of hazardous potential energy. Something as simple as cutting open a 55 gal drum, wood dust in a dust collector, an acetylene bottle cracked open, any of which could kill you. Huge pieces of metal fall on people... dead. I've even heard of a guy at the sewage plant who finished work one day, closed up everything and went home. The next morning he started right where he left off by opening a pipe plug... little did he know that the system had built up pressure during the night and when the plug was loose enough, it hit him right between the eyes. Then, surviving that, he had to endure months of other issues when the literal crap in the system entered his blood stream adding many other complications. I could go on... but I think I'll just get to the important list. Here it is

Forms of energy

Potential
Stored energy that can be drawn upon to do work. Suspended loads, compressed springs, and pressurized hydraulic systems are examples. Potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy and many of the other energy forms described below.

Kinetic
Energy resulting from moving objects such as released loads and uncoiling springs. When these objects are released, their potential energy is converted to kinetic energy.

Flammable
Energy converted from the combustion of gasses, liquids, solid chemicals, and vapors.

Chemical
The capacity of a substance to do work or produce heat through a change in its composition. Chemical energy can be converted from gasses, liquids, solid chemicals, and vapors.

Electrical
Energy generated through the conversion of other forms such as mechanical, thermal, or chemical energy. Energy stored between plates of a charged capacitor is an example of potential electrical energy. Typical electrical energy sources include open busbars, motors, and generators.

Thermal
Energy transferred from one body to another as the result of a difference in temperature. Heat flows from the hotter to the cooler body. Sources include mechanical work, radiation, chemical reactions, and electrical resistance.