Workers Severely Burned in Worksite Accidents

Two recent worksite accidents on November 2, 2011 resulted in serious burn injuries to a welder in one instance and a laundry worker in the other. At a granite quarry operated by Vulcan Materials in Kennesaw, Georgia, a welder was shocked by a high-voltage power line, receiving critical, but not life-threatening, burns. He was using a bucket truck to lift materials when the truck boom made contact with a 4,160-volt power line. Another man was apparently trapped on the crane during the incident, but was not injured. The burn victim was taken to an Augusta hospital’s burn center for treatment. The company that operates the power lines, along with the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, is reportedly investigating the incident.

A laundry worker at a commercial laundry plant near Rome in northwest Georgia was severely burned in a steam pipe explosion. A pipe allegedly ruptured in the early evening, with sufficient force to blow out a wall nearby. Only two employees and one contractor were present in the plant at the time, according to news reports, and only one injury was reported. The Rome Fire Department and Floyd County EMS responded to the incident, and the Rome Fire Marshal is reportedly conducting an investigation.

Fortunately, no one was killed in either incident. Cases such as these demonstrate the risks present at construction and industrial worksites and the difficulty in determining liability for individual injuries. The workers’ compensation system provides a mechanism for workers injured on the job to recover damages from their employers. The system has many legal restrictions, and the process of making and recovering on a claim can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Workers’ compensation is also generally only available in situations where a worker can make a claim directly against an employer. Worksites often involve multiple contractors ands employers with a tangled web of relationships.

In some cases, a third party, meaning a person or company with whom an injured person has no direct employment or other contractual relationship, may have liability to an injured person. This could involve a subcontractor on a construction site who, through some form of negligence, causes injury to another subcontractor or employee of a subcontractor. It could include the manufacturer of a defective part or product that causes injury to a person on the worksite. Any personal injury attorney will tell you that analyzing the many parties at a worksite to assess liability for an injury is a critical and difficult part of any claim.

In the incidents described above, issues to investigate include the condition of the power lines in one case and the steam pipes in the other. Questions of their safety, their condition the day of the accidents, and who bears responsibility for maintaining them are of paramount importance. The condition and quality of the bucket truck or the commercial laundry equipment may also bear examining. The exact relationships of the injured parties to the site operators and any other onsite service providers or subcontractors is also an important issue to review.

Workers injured on the job may have rights to compensation for their injuries. The Maryland accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen can help assess your case and protect your interests. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact us today online or at (800) 654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Two Dead from Havre De Grace Fire at Harford County, Maryland Apartment Building, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 25, 2010
Maryland Man Dies from Burn Injuries Sustained in Frederick Gas Station Fire, Maryland Accident Law Blog, November 16, 2009
Maryland Attorney Sues Baltimore For Burn Injuries Caused By Fall Accident into Construction Hole, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 10, 2008
Photo credit: taliesin from morguefile.com

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