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Fire at Massachusetts Mill Rising Concerns of Evacuation Risks

A warehouse at the Charlton Woolen Mill was completely destroyed after a recent five-alarm fire. The warehouse is part of a mill complex in Charlton. The fire has been ruled as an accident, according to the Boston Globe.
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The fire started in one of the five businesses that rent garage space in that building. It was reportedly caused by a work lamp that was left in one of the garages. Officials have not been able to figure out if it was just placed too close to specific combustibles or if the lamp somehow malfunctioned. Firefighters from 20 towns came to the scene to help to put out the blaze. It took response teams about two hours to get it under control. Six firefighters were injured.

Our Charlton workers’ compensation lawyers understand that fires and explosions are a serious threat to virtually all workplaces and all industries. These kinds of accidents can start from something as simple as a lamp, like the one at the Charlton Woolen Mill did. It’s critical for employers to have proper evacuation plans, to make sure that fire exits aren’t blocked, to work to prevent these kinds of accidents and to make sure that employees know how to react to one of these emergencies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of explosion-related work fatalities increased significantly from 2009 to 2010, going from only 115 to nearly 200. There was also an increase in the number of work fatalities resulting from fires, going from about 55 to about 110.

Fires and explosions actually account for about 5 percent of workplace deaths. Many of these accidents and these fatalities can be avoided. There are simple safety precautions that employers should take to help to stop these kinds of accidents before they happen. Some of the best ways to head them off is by following specific standards for record-keeping, gear certification and various preventative measures.

Employers should make sure that all employees are properly trained to deal with fire hazards and on what to do in the event of an emergency. Make sure you have a fire evacuation plan and that everyone knows how to escape. If you expect your employees to use any kind of firefighting equipment, make sure they’re trained properly on how to do so.

Each workplace is to have suitably located emergency exits so that everyone can get out quickly. These exits are never to be blocked or locked when workers are inside and they must also be marked with the proper signs.

How to develop and emergency action plan:

-Make sure employees know evacuation routes and other procedures to follow.

-Count all employees once evacuation is complete.

-Remain available for employee review.

-Address evacuation procedures for disabled workers.

-Address evacuation plans for workers who are in charge of staying behind and shutting down critical plant equipment.

-Determine the best way to alert employees of a fire emergency.

-Make sure that the employee alarm system can be heard throughout the entire workplace.

The Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC can be reached at 1-877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Sleep: Important in Preventing Work Accidents in Boston, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, July 17, 2012

BP Settles for Nearly $15 Million in Safety and Health Fines, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, July 13, 2012