Prime Minister Scott Morrison ran into danger when he lifted the safety mask covering his eyes as he unleashed a blinding flash from a welding torch
The PM wore a regulation welding safety visor during a visit to a workshop in Alice Springs.
But he lifted the hard hat moments before he touched the fiery arc of the welding torch to a metal beam.
His face lit up with the intense white light of the burning flame, which should only be seen from behind the specially darkened screen.
The video showed a viewer desperately trying to get the mask off, but was unable to do so in time when 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 fiery arc of a welding torch to a metal beam.
Seconds earlier Morrison had happily traded with him “I’ve done this before, in the Hunter”
Seconds earlier, Morrison had happily assured the exchange with him “I’ve done this before, in the Hunter.”
‘On the tools again!’ he added.
Eye injuries from burns are a huge risk in welding and precautions to avoid them are taken very seriously.
The blunder saw Morrison grilled on social media and earned comparisons to Donald Trump’s defiant stare at the eclipse without goggles from the White House balcony in August 2017.
He looked three times, despite cries from White House aides, “Don’t look!
After Morrison casually stated that he had welded before, while donning PPE and a visor, he was asked, “So you were a craftsman before?”
Morrison’s response was not audible.
Scott Morrison was visiting a factory in Alice Springs when he made the mistake
Scott Morrison has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump’s infamous direct stare at an eclipse after a blunder that saw him welding without a safety mask covering his eyes
But what he did next laid bare the risks of toying with blue-collar voters by dressing like them.
He made a rookie mistake of the kind that would have had an apprentice walk into the boss’s office for a safety conference – and possibly get bitten for days by co-workers.
Morrison lifted his visor to see better and touched the white-hot arc to a metal beam.
On social networks, the prime minister’s detractors jumped at the chance to pile in.
“Stupid, dangerous and probably illegal,” Lynne tweeted.
“Trump watching the eclipse was iconic and eye-opening, but Scott Morrison welding without a helmet is probably funnier,” another man wrote.
John joked ‘If only Scott Morrison had used the welding torch on the ukulele’, referring to the Prime Minister’s clumsy rendition of the 70s hit April Sun in Cuba during a recent TV interview.
Another suggested that Morrison’s gaffe deserved to become a meme.
SafeWork guidelines state that “workers should always have their eyes, face and/or head protected when welding”.
“Burns frequently occur on hands and other exposed skin, but also in the eyes from sparks and metal fragments.”
The hazards are “light, radiation, burns from hot debris and sparks”.
NSW security official Glen, who did not want to give his surname, said Morrison’s blunder would be ridiculed in a workplace as “a failure of common sense”.
‘You don’t. They have welding masks to put on for a reason. It’s common sense.
“The next thing that will happen is the guy who did this will come to his boss and say, ‘My eyes hurt and I have to go home.
“That would be the lesson learned.
Scott Morrison is well known for wearing fluoro to connect with voters. He is pictured with his wife Jenny visiting Sydney markets ahead of the latest election
“The kind of injury you’re going to have is an ulceration in the back of your eyes, if it flashes the welders you just don’t do that.”
It was Mr Morrison’s second mistake in a week after a tricky tongue twister saw him accidentally swear on live TV.
The Prime Minister was speaking to reporters about funding for Adelaide’s North-South Corridor when he unexpectedly fell silent.
“It brings to an end the full financial commitment of the Commonwealth Government to this crap, city, ship, city shaping,” he fumbled.
“Be careful with that,” the Prime Minister laughed awkwardly. “Of course it’s going to have a run.”