While they’re on the uncommon end of employment mishaps, workplace explosions present a disproportionate threat of injury and death when they do occur. These incidents can leave workers permanently injured or families without loved ones. This is why it’s so important to understand the related dangers and whether an explosion accident lawyer may be able to help.
The Basics of Workplace Explosions
Thanks to state and federal regulations, injuries linked to workplace explosions happen far less often than those caused by falls and other accidents. Unfortunately, these regulations are not always followed. And even when they are, simple mishaps can lead to deadly results. These are just a few of the common causes of explosions in the workplace:
- Hazardous chemicals.
- Static electricity.
- Mechanical sparks.
- Faulty wiring.
- Combustion engines.
- Malfunctioning equipment.
- Improper/malfunctioning demolition explosions.
- Equipment contact with live electrical wiring.
It’s clear that many factors can contribute to a workplace explosion, but most of these incidents are completely avoidable. Any explosion accident lawyer can attest to how rare these mishaps are when proper protocols are followed. When such an event does occur, though, the results can be disastrous.
Consider some of the most common injuries linked to these workplace accidents:
- Severe burns.
- Vision loss.
- Blast lung (pulmonary barotrauma).
- Hearing loss.
- Abdominal hemorrhage.
- Penetrating injuries.
- Concussion and traumatic brain injuries.
These are common primary and secondary blast injuries, but tertiary injuries can include bone fractures, amputations, blunt-force trauma and crush injuries. These potential outcomes make it clear just how devastating workplace explosions can be.
Workplace Explosion Statistics
There is minimal data available on explosions in the workplace, but the numbers tell a story of dangerous occupations and deadly outcomes. The most recent year of data comes from 2018, and it shows that 115 workers died in onsite fires or explosions. Rates will always vary by state. Fires and explosions, for instance, only made up 1 percent of Ohio workplace deaths in 2018.
While these statistics may seem low, they are actually higher than the number of deaths caused by harmful substance inhalation, falling through existing openings or surfaces, getting caught in collapsing materials and exposure to temperature extremes. Deaths related to workplace explosions most commonly occur in the following professions:
- Construction (14 percent).
- Welders/Cutters (12 percent).
- Electrical workers (9 percent).
- Heavy equipment operators (7 percent).
- Carpenters (7 percent).
The fact that 14 percent of all workplace explosion deaths happen in construction makes sense when looking at other data. It’s explained by the fact that over half (53 percent) of all explosion accidents occur in industrial areas. Another 17 percent take place inside homes and 9 percent occur in public buildings.
While these statistics are certainly disheartening, the question victims are most often left with is whether to contact an explosion accident lawyer. After all, isn’t workers’ compensation supposed to take care of these incidents? The answer to that question is not always straightforward.
Do I Need an Explosion Accident Lawyer?
If you’re wondering whether you or a loved one need an attorney following an explosion accident, there are a variety of issues you should consider. If you’re facing a lawsuit over the incident or insurance refuses to cover your injuries, for instance, there’s very little doubt that you should seek legal assistance. These aren’t the only situations, though, when an attorney can help.
Although workers’ compensation laws are meant to help victims while minimizing lawsuits, you may still be able to secure additional monetary recovery in certain instances. If extreme negligence led to a workplace explosion – which is often the case – litigation may be advisable. This is also the case if a third-party contractor was involved in the accident.
Contact an Attorney Today
Your best course of action will be to contact an explosion accident lawyer before you sign anything. They can inform you of your rights, help you understand your specific situation, and ensure you receive maximum compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered.
At Friedman, Domiano & Smith, we’ll work hard to make sure the insurance companies don’t take advantage of you. Contact us for a free consultation today.