According to a recent news feature from Mass Live, a worker in a factory in Ware was seriously injured due to an electrical explosion. The workplace accident occurred last April, and the cause of this accident has been under investigation for the past few months. It is common for the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) to work with local police to determine the cause of a serious on-the-job accident. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) typically gets involved and conducts an independent investigation following a serious or fatal industrial accident. However, in this case, OSHA determined that there were not enough employees at the Ware plant for the agency to have jurisdiction, and, therefore, they did not conduct their own investigation.
In this workplace accident, one employee was severely injured, another suffered what have been described as serious on-the-job injuries and a third was taken to the hospital from his job site, but was able to return to work that same day. While authorities always knew that some type of electrical source caused the explosion, it is now known that the exact cause of the accident was an arc flash. The arc flash was created by a short in an electrical panel that was carrying more than 600 volts of currents.
One thing that the Mass DIA will routinely explorewith the assistance of local police and fire officials is whether there was any suspicious activity that may have resulted in the accident. In this case, they determined there was nothing suspicious, and it was either the result of a mechanical error or a non-intentional action by an employee.
One thing to keep in mind when you speak with your Boston workplace accident lawyer is that there is no need to prove fault in an on-the-job accident. The reason is because in the Commonwealth, the workers’ compensation system is no-fault. As a result, all an employee is required to prove is that he or she is an employee within the meaning of the statute and that the accident or illness was work-related. In the case of an accident, it is work-related if it occurred during the scope of one’s employment. This generally means when an employee is on-the-clock, though there are some exceptions.
It should also be noted that in the case of a burn accident, there is often permanent scarring as result of the burns. This is true whether the cause of the burns is fire, caustic chemicals, electricity, or even extreme cold. In this state, when there is scarring on the face, head, or neck, and that scarring is not likely to go away, the claimant may be entitled to additional compensation for the permanent scarring in addition to the workers’ compensation benefits. However, it should be noted that this is not available in every case, and you should speak with your attorney about the facts of your actual situation.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Ware power plant electrical fire caused by ‘arc flash’ explosion deemed ‘human or mechanical accident’, July 26, 2016, Mass Live, By Jim Russell
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Parr v. Breeden – Supervisor Co-Workers Not Liable Under Workers’ Comp Exclusive Remedy, July 3, 2016, Boston Work Accident Lawyer Blog