According to a recent news report from the Press of Atlantic City, two workers were injured after a diesel tank exploded at a local high school. Fortunately, there were no students or staff injured in the explosion, but one of these two workers was seriously injured.
Authorities have said the employee was working for a company that performs environmental engineering services. This worker was using a power saw to cut into an old diesel tank when, without warning, the tank burst into flames. Witnesses say the flames shot as high as 30 feet into the sky. When the tank ignited, this worker was thrown back about five feet from the tank and landed on the ground.
Witnesses called paramedics, and when first responders arrived on the scene, they found one of the workers to have suffered burns to the right side of his body, including his arm and his chest. The burns are believed to be mainly second degree in severity. After checking his vitals and making sure he was not in shock, or at a high risk for going into shock, they transported him to local trauma center rated to accept patients with burn injuries. The other worker suffered minor injuries as result of this on-the-job accident and was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released.
One of the things that you can discuss with your Boston workers’ compensation attorney if you were injured in a burn accident is that there are certain benefits that can be awarded above and beyond the standard monthly benefits award under the Workers’ Compensation Act of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Under the workers’ compensation act, if an employee suffers permanent scarring on his or her face, neck, head, or hands, he or she may be eligible for an award of special benefits. This award is a lump sum, one-time payment that is calculated based upon the severity of the burn and the state average weekly wage (SAAW).
One of the reasons burn injuries are so serious, beyond the possibility of permanent scarring, is because of the amount of pain a worker can be in, and the amount of treatment he or she will need for the rest of his or her life to deal with the damage done by a serious burn injury at work. Burn injuries can range in severity from a first degree burn, which is similar to the average sunburn, to a fourth degree burn in which all layers or skin are destroyed, muscle, connective tissue, and even bone is destroyed. Many people have only heard of third degree burns, but doctors also recognize a fourth degree burn, which is considered a full thickness burn.
In some cases, a burn can result in the need to amputate an injured workers’ limb. In these cases, there is also a single payment special award under the Workers’ Compensation Act in the Commonwealth.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Two workers injured after diesel tank explosion in Egg Harbor Township, September 8, 2016, By Erin Serpico, Atlantic City Press
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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