Prime Minister Scott Morrison diced with danger when he lifted the safety mask covering his eyes just as he unleashed a blinding flash from a welding torch
The PM wore a safety visor during a visit to a workshop in Alice Springs.
But he lifted the protective helmet moments before he touched the blazing arc of the welding torch to a metal beam.
His face was lit up with the intense white light from the searing flame which should only be viewed from behind the specially darkened screen.
Video showed a bystander desperately reaching out to try to bring down the mask but couldn’t bring it down in time as the 6000C spark erupted in his face.
The Prime Minister donned PPE including a safety visor during a visit to a workshop in Alice Springs but lifted the mask as he touched the blazing arc of a welding torch to a metal beam
Seconds earlier Morrison had cheerfully assured the tradie with him ‘I’ve done this before, up in the Hunter’
Seconds earlier Morrison had cheerfully assured the tradie with him ‘I’ve done this before, up in the Hunter.’
‘On the tools again!’ he added.
Eye damage from burns is a huge risk in welding and precautions to prevent it are taken extremely seriously.
The blunder saw Morrison roasted on social media and earned comparisons with Donald Trump’s defiant gazing at the eclipse without protective eyewear from the balcony of the White House in August 2017.
He looked three times, despite White House aids shouting ‘don’t look!’
After Morrison casually said he’d welded before, while pulling on PPE and a visor, he was asked, ‘So you used to be a tradesman before?’
Morrison’s answer wasn’t audible.
Scott Morrison was visiting a factory in Alice Springs when he made the blunder
Scott Morrison earned comparisons to Donald Trump’s infamous direct gaze at an eclipse after a gaffe that saw him welding without a safety mask covering his eyes
But what he did next laid bare the risks of playing to the blue collar voters by dressing just like them.
He made a rookie error of the kind that would get an apprentice marched into the boss’s office for a safety lecture – and possibly ribbed for days by colleagues.
Morrison lifted his visor to get a better look and touched the white hot arc to a metal beam.
On social media the Prime Minister’s critics jumped at the chance to pile on.
‘Stupid, dangerous, and probably illegal,’ said Lynne on twitter.
‘Trump looking at the eclipse was iconic and telling, but Scott Morrison welding without a helmet is probably funnier,’ wrote another man.
John quipped ‘If only Scott Morrison had used the welding torch on the ukulele,’ referring to the PM’s awkward rendition of 70s hit April Sun in Cuba during a recent television interview.
Another suggested Morrison’s gaffe deserved to become a meme.
SafeWork guidelines state ‘workers should always have their eyes, face and/or head protected whenever they are welding.’
‘Burns occur frequently on hands and other exposed skin, but also in eyes from sparks and metal fragments.’
The hazards are ‘light, radiation, burns from hot debris and sparks’.
A NSW safety manager Glen, who didn’t want to provide his surname, said Morrison’s blunder would be mocked in a workplace as ‘a failure of common-sense.’
‘You just don’t do it. They have welder’s masks to put on for a reason. It’s common-sense.’
‘The next thing that happens is the guy who did that will be coming to his boss saying ‘I’ve got sore eyes and I need to go home.
‘That would be lesson learned.
Scott Morrison is well known for wearing fluoro to connect with voters. He is pictured with his wife Jenny visiting the Sydney Markets before the last election
‘The kind of injury you’re going to get is an ulceration on the back of your eyes, if he gets the welders flash, you just don’t do that.’
It was Mr Morrison’s second blunder in a week after a tricky tongue twister saw him accidentally swear on live television.
The prime minister was speaking to reporters about funding for Adelaide’s North-South Corridor when he became unexpectedly tongue-tied.
‘This brings to completion the full financial commitment of the Commonwealth government to this sh*tty, city, ship, city shaping,’ he fumbled.
‘Gotta be careful with that,’ the PM laughed awkwardly. ‘Sure that’ll get a run.’