Workplace injuries occur all too often in North Carolina. While in some cases the injured workers completely recover without any lasting consequences, in others, pain and scarring linger long after the incident that produced them. An injury that typically falls into the latter category is burns. These on-the-job injuries are most likely to occur in situations where workers are exposed to flammable materials.
Earlier this month several men were injured with burns in a workplace accident involving a fire. The incident occurred at a North Carolina propane storage facility. As a result of their injuries, the three men were transported to a nearby burn unit via helicopter.
According to the vice president of the company that owns the facility where the incident occurred, the three workers were in the process of moving propane gas from one place to another when the fire broke out. The workers, who were described as experienced, were doing a task that is considered routine.
The fire was not the result of an explosion and is being called a freak accident. While an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector was called in to conduct an investigation, it is believed that the fire likely was the result of a static electricity spark. Whether the business will be cited by OSHA, remains to be seen.
Burns can be a particularly difficult injury to recover from. In addition to being extremely painful, it is not uncommon for them to result in serious scarring. Though the extent of the workers’ injuries is not entirely clear, none were expected need to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. In any event, it is still possible that some of them will need to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Source: WLOS, “Freeman Gas Workers Burned,” Ashlea Surles, May 3, 2013