Tennessee Construction Injury Law: Fire & Explosion Accidents
While the occupational dangers of fire and explosions may be prevalent in many industries, construction workers take the brunt of the risk due to the inherent nature of the work they perform daily. At InjuryTN, we understand that exposure to fires and explosions while working also comes with risks of serious injuries, such as serious burns, lung damage, loss of vision or hearing, and even fatality.
The presence of flammable or explosive gases or other material is common in the majority of construction sites, which may include coal dust, methane, petrol, or hydrogen. Additionally, risks become more prevalent with the presence of open flames, incomplete or exposed wiring, and provisional light and heat sources.
Risks of Fire and Explosion Accident Fatalities
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently reported that around 3% of all workplace fatalities are caused by fires and explosions. While this number may appear insignificant, but the issue is that incidents of this kind are entirely preventable. Employers have the responsibility of providing a safe workplace for all workers and other employees on-site. When workers are exposed to risks of fire and explosion, but are not adequately warned of such risks and dangers, an employer may be found negligent.
Construction workers who are injured because of an employer’s negligence will not have the ability to sue the company itself, however, they are entitled to recovering restitution through workers’ compensation. Seeking litigation against third-party entities may also be a possibility, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident. Such third-party entities may include general contractors, property owners, manufacturers or others found responsible.
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If you have been in a construction accident involving a fire or explosion, you deserve compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained. Contact our office now to schedule your consultation with a Tennessee construction accident attorney.
OSHA Safety Requirements on Construction Sites
Rules and regulations for the safety and health of those working construction sites are detailed in OSHA’s Standard Number 1926 Subpart F. These regulations include some of the following:
- Employers have the responsibility to develop a fire prevention program, which to which all workers should adhere throughout the course of construction as well as demolition. They should also provide their workers with necessary firefighting gear in locations where such accidents are bound to occur.
- The installation of adequate lighting, heating, and electrical wiring equipment is required in these locations, in accordance with specified safety standards.
- Equipment powered by internal combustion engines should be placed so as to direct exhaust away from combustible or otherwise volatile materials.
- Temporary structures should not be located in areas where its presence might affect the fire escape path.
- Smoking should be strictly prohibited in all areas where it may be considered a fire hazard.
- Equipment used in certain dangerous locations to handle, store or utilize flammable or combustible materials will require approval prior to its use.
- When danger exists of a fire underground, the land above cannot be used to store flammable gases or liquids.
- When working near any heating or lighting units, clearance should be maintained by all workers in order to help in preventing the ignition of volatile materials.
- Flammable or combustible liquids or gases cannot be stored near exits.
- Storage containers may not be filled with petrol within 50 feet of the closest building
- Adequate ventilation by way of fresh air or mechanical means should be provided for all workers on-site.
- Confined spaces with temporary heaters need to be thoroughly inspected in order to make sure the area is adequately ventilated and safe.
Hazards of Open Flames
One of the top reasons for the prevalence of construction fires is the utilization of open-flame torches, which are commonly used to cut, weld, or solder metals or to attach metal roofing. However, the presence of the potential for this flame to come into contact with flammable or combustible materials is ever-present on construction sites. It is also worth taking into consideration that ember flares have the possibility of igniting, even when hours have passed since first contact. In locations that are older and are being renovated or demolished, faulty wiring may be an issue.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
When construction fires and explosions occur on job sites, the resulting injuries sustained by workers can be very serious. What’s more, workers’ compensation rarely covers enough of the expenses to really help those who need it most. That’s why our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is committed to thorough investigation into possible causes of accidents, so that third parties who could be responsible for covering lost wages and medical expenses, as well as compensating for endured pain and suffering. Contact InjuryTN today to set up your free and confidential initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury lawyers. You pay no costs or fees until we win your case.