Explosions on the Job
Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
Construction sites expose workers to a dangerous environment on a daily basis, a risk which is only amplified by the use of flammable materials and hazardous chemicals. Unfortunately, when such substances are mishandled or improperly stored, or when other safety measures are ignored by employers and general contractors, the resulting consequences, such as a construction site accident caused by a gas tank explosion or propane fire, can be dangerous and possibly even deadly. In construction site accidents such as these, the effects are typically sudden and violent, giving construction workers little time to react or protect themselves. The unfortunate result is often devastating injury and loss of life. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site explosion, contact a construction accident attorney today to discuss your legal options.
Injuries Caused by Construction Site Explosions
While construction equipment can fail at any time, these failures are often signaled by stoppages or slow leaks. When chemicals under pressure explode or flammable materials burst into flame however, the consequences can be sudden and can result in catastrophe for anyone in the area. In addition to the dangers the explosion itself poses for workers, explosions on the job can also lead to other construction accidents like falls and equipment collisions. Some of the most common injuries caused by construction site explosions and the resulting accidents include:
- Traumatic head injury
- Spinal cord injury
OSHA Regulations for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace fires and explosions kill 200 and injure more than 5,000 workers each year. In light of these alarming statistics, OSHA has established special safety guidelines in an effort to minimize construction site accidents caused by fires and explosions. The agency dictates that a fire plan should be in place at all construction sites so that workers can be safely evacuated in the event of explosions and fires. OSHA also advises that construction sites maintain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each chemical in the facility, follow manufacturer’s instructions for handling hazardous chemicals, train employees about the risks of each chemical being used on site, have a written spill control plan, store chemicals safety and securely, and provide proper personal protective equipment and enforce its use. Unfortunately, when employers and general contractors fail to follow these safety guidelines, they put construction workers at an unnecessary risk of serious injury and death caused by explosions on the job.
Long-Term Effects of Explosion Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
In addition to the physical pain caused by construction site accidents like explosions, the resulting injuries can rob an employee of his ability to work and earn a livelihood, and may also require long-term medical care, which can pose an overwhelming financial burden on top of a devastating loss of income. While workers’ compensation benefits may be available to construction workers injured in on-the-job explosions, this type of compensation isn’t designed to offset life-altering expenses such as these. For this reason, victims of construction site explosions should consult a qualified construction accident attorney to discuss their legal options. In some cases, victims may have grounds to file a third-party liability lawsuit or pursue another legal avenue in order to seek fair and timely reimbursement for their injuries, medical bills and other associated expenses.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney for Legal Help
The results of explosions on the job are devastating and can be avoided with the implementation of appropriate safety procedures and proper training of construction site employees. Unfortunately, many employers cut corners and ignore safety regulations for the sake of saving time and money, thereby putting construction workers at an unnecessary risk of serious injury and death. If you were injured in a construction site explosion, or if you lost a loved one in an explosion on the job, contact a construction accident attorney immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses, which you can pursue by filing a workers’ compensation claim or filing a lawsuit against the party whose negligence caused your injury. With the help of a qualified construction accident lawyer on your side, you can protect your legal rights and pursue the reimbursement you deserve.