Scott Morrison's welding moment goes viral over crucial error

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A clip of Prime Minister Scott Morrison "on the tools" has gone viral for all the wrong reasons.

While campaigning in the Northern Territory, ahead of the federal election this year, Mr Morrison tried his hand at welding during a public appearance.

However, a crucial error while holding up the torch was all people could talk about.

"Okay, on the tools once again," the prime minister is heard saying in a 7News package, posted on Friday to the network's YouTube channel, while putting on a welding helmet, which is designed to protect the eyes and neck while working.

Then, with tools in hand and in position, Mr Morrison lifts the visor.

Scott Morrison is pictured in a short video removing a welding helmet visor as sparks fly.
Scott Morrison removed his helmet while trying his hand at welding while in the Northern Territory. Source: 7News

"Is this it here?" he says as sparks begin to fly.

Later in the video, Mr Morrison is then seen pulling down the visor and continuing the job.

According to Northern Territory WorkSafe's Welding Processes Code of Practice, welders need to protect their face while working on their craft.

"Exposure to the eyes causes 'arc eye' or 'welders' flash' which is a painful inflammation of the cornea. The cornea can repair itself in one to two days," the Code of Practice says.

"However, if the cornea becomes infected it may lead to some loss of vision."

It also states skin burns and exposure to radiation are possible.

Redditors react to ScoMo welding clip

The clip quickly gained a lot of attention, particularly on Reddit, where one person shared the brief clip on Saturday. Within eight hours of being posted, the video had attracted more than 600 comments.

Some compared it to the time Donald Trump looked straight at an eclipse without eye protection, which experts have warned against.

"Thought he had saw the light. Nah, just welding flash eh," one person quipped on Reddit.

"Never thought I'd want him to stick to hairdressing," another said, referring to an appearance at a hair salon where the prime minister washed a woman's tresses.

A third person said: "I can't believe this is real."

"Isn't this supposed to hurt your eyes like crazy? Some dude described it as having sand constantly rubbed in your eyes," someone else wrote.

But others said it was a common mistake to make.

"We've all done it, but not all of us have been filmed doing it and had the footage played on national TV," one person added.

"I'm a welder and this was definitely on accident. The stick electrode is always live (when on) and if it's missing any bit of flux on the end it'll arc up pretty easy when it comes into contact with the metal," another said.

"Most people who have welded stick have done this before. Like someone else suggested, the auto dim may have been triggered and he's lifted it up to see where to start (which you would do with a basic non-dimming mask)."

Darwin bombing commemoration

While in the Top End Mr Morrison accused Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese of being the "most left-wing" Labor leader since Gough Whitlam.

Mr Albanese responded by saying the PM was trying to divide the country.

On Twitter, before departing for Darwin, Mr Albanese said he would engage in talks about how the Labor government would invest in Aboriginal community-controlled health services in Palmerston, the second largest city in the NT.

He later said Labor would invest $11.6 million for medical and wellbeing services for the community.

"One of the lessons of the pandemic is that well-supported local medical services in high-quality facilities are central to keeping our community healthy and safe," a press release said.

"Culturally safe primary health care is central to making sure we close the life expectancy gap. Labor is committed to working with First Nations controlled organisations to Close the Gap."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at the Larrakeyah Defence Precinct in Darwin, Friday, February 18, 2022.
Mr Morrison is in the Top End trying to appease voters ahead of the federal election. Source: AAP

Meanwhile the Morrison government announced it would establish a regional maintenance centre in Darwin.

On Saturday, Mr Morrison, Mr Albanese, Governor-General David Hurley, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner and the Japanese Ambassador to Australia were among those who attended a commemoration of the bombing of Darwin.

Just before 10am on February 19, 1942, a formation of 188 Japanese aircraft descended on the Top End in the first of two raids that day.

The bombing would go down in history as the largest single attack ever mounted on Australia, with more than 230 people killed and hundreds wounded.

Veterans, descendants, army personnel and members of the public gathered on a hot and humid Saturday to mark eight decades since the World War II bombing, in a ceremony at Darwin's Cenotaph.

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