Dangerous Construction Accidents: Preventing Explosions & Fires
Construction jobs account for approximately 4.5% of all non-agricultural employment options in West Virginia. Due to the heavy machinery and harsh working conditions, these employees face countless dangers any time they clock into work. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 20.7% of all work-related fatalities in the United States involve construction workers. This concerning statistic can be attributed to the fact that construction companies and worksite supervisors often cut corners when it comes to employee safety. Fatalities and injuries often stem from unfortunate falls, being struck by objects or vehicles, machinery accidents, and, of course, explosions and fires.
A single spark or an accidental spill can ignite a firestorm that injures several workers. These incidents are often caused by:
- Failure to extinguish an open flame
- Faulty wiring
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Flammable and combustible liquids
- Demolition accidents
- Vehicle accidents
- Improperly stored chemicals
- Electrical shortages
- Arc flashes and blasts
- Pressurized container explosions
While hindsight is 20/20, it doesn’t change the fact that most construction site fires and explosions are preventable accidents. Site workers, foremen, and supervisors can avoid a potentially hazardous scenario by working together, communicating openly, avoiding shortcuts, and adhering to best safety practices throughout the duration of a job.
A serious accident can be avoided by following these best safety practices:
- Adhering to proper safety protocols
- Properly disposing of flammable wastes
- Keeping the worksite smoke-free
- Inspecting all machinery and tools regularly
- Properly storing any flammable items and chemicals
- Training employees to respond to fires and explosions
What Should I Do After an Accident?
You need to seek immediate medical assistance if you’ve been injured in a fire or explosion. After all, even a minor burn injury can lead to dangerous infections if left untreated. An experienced doctor can examine your injuries, prescribe an effective treatment program, and update your medical record to help you secure workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers can sustain the following injuries in the event of a fire or explosion:
- Burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Blast Injuries
- Impact injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Shrapnel injuries
- Inhalation injuries
An injured employee can usually obtain medical benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, and financial assistance for any lost wages by filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, some employers – or their insurance providers – may deny or challenge a claim because they don’t want to pay for increased premiums.
That’s where we come in.
Is Workers’ Compensation My Only Option? Not necessarily.
Your next step is to contact a qualified workplace injury lawyer who can explain your legal options, investigate your case, and help you identify a negligent party. At Shaffer Madia Law, our Morgantown personal injury attorneys can review and take pictures of the accident site, talk to witnesses, and determine if you can pursue damages not available through workers’ compensation.
You may be able to file a third-party claim against:
- Third-party contractors
- The worksite owner
- The entity responsible for safety at the worksite
- The entity responsible for design and/construction of the worksite
- Defective product manufactures
- Specific individuals who aren’t your employer’s managers or supervisors
Schedule a Consultation Today
Contact Shaffer Madia Law if you’ve been injured in a worksite accident. Our personal injury attorney, Sam Madia, excels in lawsuits involving serious injuries or wrongful deaths at worksites. He has also helped countless workers pursue “deliberate intent” lawsuits against employers who failed to provide a reasonably safe working environment.