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Gas line puncture causes explosion and severe workplace injuries

Construction companies nationwide, including here in California, must consult with utility companies and gas line operators while planning any construction project. It is vital for electricity and gas lines to be identified and clearly marked before operations commence. Failure to do this can lead to catastrophic workplace injuries or even fatalities. Employers must ensure that all known safety hazards are addressed to protect workers, even if the information has to be gathered to identify unknown hazards.

On a recent Thursday morning, a construction worker who was operating excavation equipment on a site in another state accidentally punctured a gas line. A massive explosion followed that reportedly set the machine he was operating ablaze.Other vehicles and equipment also caught fire, causing more explosions. The machine operator suffered severe burn injuries.

He was rushed to a burn unit, from where he was later airlifted to another facility. A report by hospital officials indicated that the burn injuries covered 70 percent of the man's body. No other injured workers were reported.

California victims of workplace injuries are entitled to pursue benefits claims through the workers' compensation insurance system. The program typically covers medical expenses along with lost income if the injured worker misses work time while recuperating. After suffering such severe burn injuries, a victim will likely receive ongoing medical treatment and skin grafts that could cause lengthy absences from work. Such injuries can even cause disabilities and it may be wise to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to ensure that all applicable benefits are received.

Source: bnd.com, "Man injured in Maryville explosion in critical condition at burn unit", April 7, 2016

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