DC Output Waveforms - Survey of Arc Welding Machines

April 13, 2022
close up view of a welder

Low-voltage exposure can induce ventricular fibrillation. Electric currents can induce respiratory arrest though both ‘tetanic paralysis’ of the respiratory muscles. (1) Direct currents (DC) are not normally associated with these modes of death; however, we have records of 3 of the welding machine types which were included in this study being associated with the electrocution death of the welder operators.

It was and is the intent of this research study and possible future studies to identify which monopolar (DC) electrical currents created from alternating currents (AC) are hazardous to life and which are not. Reports of monopolar (DC) electrocutions continue to grow.

This study builds on information contained in conference and other papers dealing with welder elelctrocution on this site. A review of hazards associated with exposure to low voltages - Dr. Marom Bikson

This project was supported by Conestoga College – School of Engineering and Technology and Conestoga's Smart Manufacturing & Advanced Recycling Technologies (SMART) Centre. 

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

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