We often hear in the news this time of year about people are injured as result of using amateur fireworks. Even though fireworks are illegal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, many people will drive to other states and buy them for use on various holidays including the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. While some neighboring states like Pennsylvania will sell consumer fireworks that can spark on the ground, some southern states such as South Carolina will sell mortars similar to the ones used by professional fireworks presenters, though typically much smaller in size.
For many reasons, including the risk of causing personal injury, starting a fire, or being arrested, it is best to leave fireworks to the professionals. However, being a professional pryotechnician or apprentice can be a very dangerous job and one that often results in on-the-job injuries such as the one discussed in a recent news feature from WGN. As discussed in that article, a professional fireworks demonstration was canceled when a fireworks installer was injured while helping to set up for the show.
In this instance, authorities say the worker was loading a mortar the size of a baseball into a launch tube when friction from the tube coming in contact with the aerial shell caused it to ignite and essentially explode in his face. To make matters worse, the explosion from the single firework caused the rest of the fireworks to launch at the same time, and this resulted in the organizers having little choice but to cancel the show for that evening.
When first responders arrived at the scene, they transported the severely injured worker to local level-one trauma center to be treated for burn and other types of serious injury. The exact extent of his injuries is not known as this time, but he is said to be recovering in the hospital. Authorities want to use this opportunity to explain just how dangerous fireworks can be, since this injury happened with a trained and licensed professional who was very familiar with what could happen, and he was still hurt on the job. If this can happen to him, it can certainly happen to a person with no training.
In a typical workers’ compensation case in Boston, an injured worker will be entitled to compensation for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, and compensation for lost wages as result of missing work due to the on-the-job injury or workplace illness. However, burn injuries often result in permanent scarring. If that scarring is on the hands, head, face, or neck, the worker may be entitled to additional one-time compensation for this scarring under the workers’ compensation law in Massachusetts.
It should be noted that this money is paid as lump sum payment and is not intended to offset any money paid in a monthly benefit under the typical workers’ compensation statute. However, this is not available in every case, as the facts are never the same, and you should speak with your attorney about 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.
Bridgeview fireworks show canceled after premature detonation; worker injured, July 3, 2016, WGN, By Tahman Bradley
More Blog Entries:
Parr v. Breeden – Supervisor Co-Workers Not Liable Under Workers’ Comp Exclusive Remedy, July 3, 2016, Boston Work Accident Lawyer Blog