When a fire happens at work, injuries can be minor or severe enough to cause extensive hospitalization and months of rehabilitation, resulting in soaring medical costs and lost wages. A workers' compensation attorney can help those who have suffered a work injury get the compensation they deserve. For this reason, victims of work injures and fires in or around San Antonio, TX are encouraged to contact the Spencer Law Firm to discuss the details of their case with our workers' compensation attorney. In the meantime, let's take a closer look at workplace fires and related injuries.
Causes of Workplace Fires
Although some job sites, like restaurants and construction sites, are more likely to experience fires than others, a fire can happen any time and anywhere. Some common causes of workplace fires include:
- Faulty electrical equipment or wiring: Damaged electrical equipment, like frayed cords or faulty wiring can cause fires in the workplace, putting employees at risk of injury.
- Open flames: Workplaces that utilize open flames, like restaurants and commercial kitchens, may experience a fire from flames spreading and igniting nearby flammable materials, like cooking oils.
- Improper handling of flammable or combustible materials: Mishandling of flammable or combustible materials is another potential cause of fires in the workplace. When flammable liquids are spilled, they must be cleaned up promptly and anything used to clean up the spill must be disposed of properly to reduce the risk of fire.
- Arson: Unfortunately, some fires are started by arsonists. Common areas that an arsonist may start a fire at a workplace include a dumpster or area hidden by obstructions.
- Negligence: Employee or employer negligence is another potential cause of fires at work. Negligence includes any situation in which a person knowingly does something that presents a fire hazard or does not follow safety procedures. Examples of negligence include smoking in an undesignated area or improperly disposing of flammable materials.
Injuries and Workplace Fires
Workplace fires can lead to serious injuries for those who are in or around the affected area. Burns from workplace fires may be minor, requiring little more than a soothing ointment, or serious, requiring extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. The severity of burns are broken down as follows:
- First-degree burn: First-degree burns are the least severe, only affecting the outermost layer of skin. A first-degree burn makes the skin look red, much like a bad sunburn.
- Second-degree burn: Second-degree burns are more severe than first-degree burns. In addition to affecting the outer layer of the skin, second-degree burns reach through to the lower layer of skin, often resulting in pain, swelling, redness, and blisters.
- Third-degree burns: Third-degree burns are the most severe and may extend as far as the muscle and bone. With third-degree burns, the skin may become charred black or turn white.
Seeking Compensation for Work Injuries Sustained in a Fire
Burn injuries sustained in workplace fires can severely impact quality of life, possibly causing permanent disability or disfigurement as well as medical costs. When injured in a workplace fire, it is important to contact a workers' compensation attorney. A workers' compensation attorney can help protect the rights of those injured in a workplace fire and ensure they get the maximum compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering.
Contact Our Workers' Compensation Attorney
In many cases, workers' compensation alone is not enough to cover all medical fees, lost wages, or future lost wages. Those who have been injured in a workplace fire caused by another person's negligence or misconduct may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages. To learn more about your legal options, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our workers' compensation attorney.