Who is Liable for Workplace Explosion Accidents?

Workplace explosions are not as common as other types of on-the-job accidents, but when they do happen, they often result in serious and catastrophic injuries to those who are within the radius of the blast. Individuals in certain occupations are at higher risk of being injured by an explosion accident. These include:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical plants
  • Oil and gas drilling
  • Mining

Workers have been known to suffer a wide range of injuries from explosion accidents, such as:

  • Severe burn injuries
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Spine and back injuries
  • Damaged eardrums/hearing loss
  • Fractures/broken bones
  • Amputations/loss of limbs
  • Death

A workplace explosion injury can turn someone’s life upside down. The medical bills alone can pile up into tens of thousands of dollars or more; and being out of work for an extended period of time can put a major financial strain on victims and their families.

If this has happened to you or a loved one, it is very important to talk to an experienced workplace accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options. If the explosion accident happened in Georgia, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is here to help! Call us today at 678-981-5370 or send us an online message to set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team.

What Causes Explosion Accidents at Work?

Explosion accidents have been known to happen in various industrial settings because of combustible dust. This is a danger in a wide range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to woodworking to baking. One recent example was a dust explosion that occurred in a flour mixing room at a Savannah, GA baking company. The blast injured two workers and damaged a nearby wall.

Explosions can also happen in occupations that involve hot work, such as welding and soldering. By necessity, these jobs produce sparks and flames, and there is always a risk of flammable materials being ignited if proper precautions have not been taken.

Electrical hazards are another common cause of explosions and fires in the workplace. These often happen because of exposed wiring, overloaded outlets and circuits, outdated/deteriorated wiring, and static discharges. Electrical explosions sometimes occur on construction sites, usually because of loose and exposed wiring.

Various types of equipment and machinery can cause workplace explosion accidents. Furnaces and other hot running equipment are common culprits. In many cases, an equipment-related explosion happens because of lack of proper maintenance, although there are also numerous instances when the blast is caused by an inherent defect in the machinery or one of its parts.

Who is Responsible for a Workplace Explosion Accident?

There are often a number of different factors that contribute to a blast in the workplace, and consequently, there are several different parties that could share responsibility. Here are some examples:

  • Employers/Supervisors: It is an employer’s responsibility to follow OSHA safety requirements and take other reasonable steps to ensure that their workers are safe. They are required to train their employees properly, adequately maintain equipment and machinery, and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) – especially when working with dangerous machinery.
  • Contractors/Subcontractors: In many industrial settings, there are numerous third-party contractors and subcontractors that are frequently working on site. For example, a contractor may be called in to provide maintenance on the equipment or to do electrical work on the property. If a contractor does substandard work and this is the cause of an explosion, they may be held liable for damages.
  • Property Owners: if an employee is doing work on a property that is not owned by their employer (as is usually the case on a construction project), then the property owner could be responsible if any unaddressed safety hazards on the premises cause or contribute to the blast.
  • Equipment/Machinery Manufacturers: When dangerous or defective machinery malfunctions and causes a blast, then the fault may lie with the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of the machinery under the legal theory known as “product liability”.

When an employee is injured in a blast on the job, their first recourse is normally to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. But in many cases, a party other than their employer could hold some responsibility for the explosion, which allows the injured worker to recover damages over and above what would normally be available through workers’ comp. Each individual case is different, and the first step to finding out which legal avenues may be available to you is to contact with one of our attorneys.

To get started on your explosion injury claim, call our Atlanta office today at 678-981-5370 or send us an online message. We are ready to go to work for you!