Unlike TIG and MIG, stick welding does carry some risk of electric shock for the following reasons:
- There is no trigger switch on a stick welder, rather there is always a voltage between the electrode and the ground clamp.
- You need to touch the (consumable) electrode of a stick welder in order to replace it.
Therefore, you can give yourself an electric shock if you are replacing the electrode without turning off the welder, and you make skin contact with the grounded workpiece, or anything electrically connected to it. Perhaps the most likely scenario would be if the workpiece was on a metal workbench, you were wearing thin clothing or pants and a shirt rather than coveralls, and your hip brushed against the workbench while you were replacing the electrode. This risk can easily be avoided.
It is worth noting that stick welder voltages are lower than mains voltage (perhaps reaching only 80-100V), and are usually DC (unless welding aluminium), so the risk of death or injury is much lower than a mains voltage electric shock.
Touching the workpiece does not present a risk of electric shock unless you are also touching the electrode, and vice-versa. Like all forms of welding though, you can burn yourself due to the object still being hot.
Additionally, welding involves far greater risks than electrocution, such as eye damage from UV light (avoidable by using a welding hood), exposure to hazardous fumes (avoidable through extraction and/or respirator use), and burns due to UV exposure or direct heat (avoidable though use of gloves and coveralls), and the potential for starting fires (avoidable by removing all flammable materials from the vicinity).