View Full Version : Fear if heights
I'm in my second year of a full time+ welding program at the college. My intension is to weld as a career. I love to weld and found I'm pretty good at it and I've alway loved fixing things and building stuff.
Last year I landed a job at the shipyard working on tankers. Lasted 4 days and had to step down because I found I have a serious fear of heights. Going 80 feet down an oily vertical ladder into pitch black hell was too much for me. It wasn't so much going into a black hole, that part I actually liked, it's just the ladders and being up high on scaffolding and stuff that freaks me out.
I think there's a small chance I can force myself to overcome this, but if I cannot, is there any hope for me as a welder? I'm talking a welder that makes decent money, not just a shop or production welder that tops out at $12/hr.
12-02-2004, 09:31 PM
You do get used to it. Sheer repetition helps a lot, do it every day for a while and it gets better. Some of those places are ominious for sure. I have done a lot of climbing and although at times I wasnt real comfortable I got thru it. I have seen some guys that were unreal and it can be impressive how smooth they are. Working well in the air is a skill just like welding. I did some contract work for Shell, they had so many rules that they were dangerous trying to be safe and they never realized that no matter how many rules and saftey devices you strapped to a guy it didnt make him as safe as a guy that was comfortable, skilled and trained to work in the air. I got tired of some geek with a clipboard standing around telling me how to do it while he watched from the ground. 20 minutes to put some plastic tye wraps on a couple loose wires and him taking 2 hrs to eplain all the rules about how to do it,, ha
12-02-2004, 10:25 PM
welding is a varied job... there are lots of welding jobs that are on the ground. If you are any good at layout and reading prints you won't be welding for long anyway.
12-02-2004, 11:03 PM
I didn't think I had a fear of heights until I started rock climbing earlier this year. To work through it, I got very familiar with my safety equipment, and pushed myself a little more each time out. Eventually you can learn to cope with the fear, the fear itself should never go away though. I'm not sure what kind of safety gear you are using, but if you are using any it may help to really start putting something more than faith in it. What I mean is to test the gear in a controlled manor to get a really good feel for how it reacts. For instance, I would get 30 feet up and just pop off the face of the rock to get a really good feel for what it would be like to "weight the rope". And after you start trusting the gear it takes a little fear out of the equation, because even if you do fall you will be caught in some manor... But in the end it all about exposure, get yourself repeatedly exposed to heights and you will overcome your fears.
Hope this helps... :)
Thanks for the comments. Any more input on this greatly appreciated also.
I have been trying to get up on ladders and stuff more. Nothing really high enough at my disposal to "practice" on though.
And at that shipyard they used no safety gear whatsoever that I saw. They had harnesses available but I never seen them used.
12-03-2004, 08:47 AM
No wonder you were nervous!!! Best thing you did was to leave.
Don't think as welding being the only thing you will do in your life. Heavy duty mechanics weld, boilermakers weld , millwrights weld and yes even some carpenters are called upon to weld. This is the beginning of your work career not the end!
12-04-2004, 11:33 AM
When you are a point welding you should be tied off, it doesnt hurt to do it when you can but its about impossible when you are moving. Its good to tie off bolting up but during erection work, like most other guys I dont even carry the stuff. A lanyard is just in the way and sometimes dangerous in itself. Up and down ladders and across steel there just isnt much you can do. It does get easier but you likely shouldnt be there if you are terrified either. They have tried lts of stuff and its one of those things that when someone comes up with some brainstorm about it they have never actually used it or done that job. There is a place for that equipment too, dont get me wrong about that. But some of it gets misapplied and thats not any good either.
12-04-2004, 11:57 AM
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