Restaurant workers get burned all the time. Normally, it is not a serious burn, but they happen frequently from causes such as splattering grease, reaching too close to a food warmer, or even from a hot dishwasher. Many “back of the house” employees consider getting minor burns just another part of the job. However, a recent news article from WPRI involves a much more serious accident from a much more serious cause.
Authorities say worker was at his place of employment, a bakery, around 10 p.m. when witnesses say he went to light a pilot light on an oven, and an explosion occurred in which employee was seriously injured. Following the explosion, worker was able to get out of the bakery without assistance, despite having suffered serious second-degree burns on over 20 percent of his body.
When first responders arrived at the scene, EMTs went to provide immediate medical attention to employee, as firefighters went to put out the large structure fire being fueled by natural gas. Firefighters, with assistance from the local gas utility company, were eventually able to shut off the flowing gas and suppress the fire.
Fire department officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion. The utility said they had just installed new gas lines in the building and had actually performed a full safety inspection the morning of the explosion, and everything seemed to be in proper working order. Utility company officials have pledged their support to work with the local fire marshal during the accident investigation. They are going to inspect all equipment in the bakery to see if any particular appliance was defective and responsible for the explosion and serious work-related burn injuries.
As for the bakery itself, windows were blown out, and the interior was damaged, but officials believe the metal structure is still intact; though building inspectors will be performing a full inspection in the days that follow.
Our Anderson workers’ compensation attorneys know burn injuries can be extremely painful and can require a substantial amount of medical attention to prevent infection, perform skin grafts, ease injured worker’s pain, and get him or her through a lengthy rehabilitation process. This often involves a great deal of medical bills and a significant amount of time away from work.
One of the most important things to make sure a worker is compensated for the total extent of his or her loss due to burn injuries is to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Claims must be filed very soon after an accident, as these matters have a far shorter statute of limitations than traditional personal injury cases.
Another important point is it is not necessary to wait until the cause of an accident is determined before filing a claim for workers’ compensation. In fact, it may be a mistake to wait. One of the reasons it is not necessary to know an accident’s cause is because it is often not relevant to workers’ compensation cases. It is only necessary to prove worker was an employee (and not an independent contractor) and was injured on the job. Fault is not required to a file a claim for workers’ compensation.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
Worker suffers first, second degree burns in bakery explosion, April 21, 2015, WPRI
More Blog Entries
Bike v. Johnson & Johnson Health Care – Workers’ Comp Benefits in Spite of Underlying Injury, March 28, 2015, Anderson Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog