When workers are hired to perform dangerous jobs, they trust that their employer will provide them with all appropriate safety training and measures. For instance, workers who deal with hazardous chemicals should be trained to recognize any hazards, learn how to minimize the dangers, and wear safety gear to protect their bodies from poisonous substances. When an employer ignores risks and sends employees into dangerous situations, laborers may become victims of a work-related injury.
Three workers employed by affiliates of a company called Emcor Group, with headquarters in Maryland, recently suffered on-the-job burn injuries. The workers were burned after they were caught in a blaze of fire inside of ductwork insulation they had been replacing. When OSHA inspected the scene, it discovered that the atmosphere was full of chemical vapors that were known to catch on fire. OSHA determined that the jobsite was unsafe due to the fact that these flammable materials and vapors were not contained. Prior to sending its employees into the space, the employer should have trained its workforce to test the air quality, reduce or remove the flammable vapors, wear breathing masks, and put in place an emergency plan. The OSHA violation resulted in a $60,000 fine.
The burned employees will likely have substantial medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering from the workplace injury accident. They may have suffered a partial or permanent disability. In such a case, it may be helpful to discuss the accident with an attorney who can explain workers’ compensation benefits. Legal counsel can also provide information about possible recovery of damages from responsible parties.
Source: Upper Marlboro Patch, “Landover-based Businesses Face $60,000 in OSHA Fines,” Brandie Jefferson, May 23, 2013