Construction Sites Accidents: Fires and Explosions

We can all agree that there are some workplaces that are more dangerous than others, like how construction sites present more hazards compared to, say, an office building. According to the website of the Oklahoma City accident lawyers at the Abel Law Firm, construction site accidents account for about 20% of fatal work injuries and 10% of non-fatal work injuries in the U.S. Considering that there are many hazardous workplaces out there, taking 20% and 10% of the chunk of deaths and injuries is troubling.

Hazards

Some of the many accidents that can happen in construction sites are fires and explosions. Employers should make sure that their workplaces are safe from these hazards, but employees should also rely on common sense and safety measures to prevent accidents involving fires and explosives. Below are some of the hazards they should look at:

  • Chemicals, other combustible and flammable substances, and their containers
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Electrical systems, and the possibility of malfunctions
  • Explosives like dynamites
  • Tools, equipment, heavy machines, and the possibility of malfunctions

Injuries

There are a lot of possible injuries that can be sustained in a fire or explosion. There is the most obvious one – burns. The website of The Benton Law Firm has classified burns depending on where you have sustained them, from first degree burns and hot metals and fourth degree burns and electric shock – either danger is present in a construction site.

Other injuries include traumatic ones, mostly sustained from the blast of an explosion and victim hitting an object or getting hit by an object. The most dangerous traumatic injuries involve the brain and the spinal cord.

Liability

What makes construction site accidents and injuries so devastating is the fact that employers have the responsibility of keeping safety on the workplace, so in a perspective, the hurt workers are merely victims. There may be legal options available for these workers, especially if it has been proven that the employer’s negligence, recklessness, or incompetence, is the reason behind the accident.

Deepwater Horizon and the Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig was developed and built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2001. The rig was a semi-submersible offshore drilling structure owned by Swiss-based company, Transocean. In 2001 Transocean leased the Deepwater Horizon to BP. Their lease agreement was scheduled to last through mid-2013. In 2009, BP used the Deepwater Horizon to drill the deepest well in history, at a vertical depth of 35,050. The well was located in the Gulf of Mexico, close in proximity to the gulf coast of the continental United States. On April 20, 2010 methane gas from the well ignited and exploded, killing 11 workers on the rig. Of the 94 crew members rescued from the rig, 17 sustained an injury. The injured oil rig employees have the option of contacting a Massachusetts personal injury attorney in order to hold the company responsible for the injuries and trauma they’ve experienced as a result of what has been discovered to be negligence on the part of BP.

As teams executed clean-up initiatives, the well continued to gush into the gulf until September. Local and national efforts were made to contain the oil in order to protect tourist, fishing, and other gulf-related industries. Many people who aided in relief efforts experienced negative health consequences as a result of the chemicals in the water. Despite environmental efforts to protect the gulf region after the oil spill, BP is projected to pay around $90 billion in damages. In addition to paying reparations to families, businesses, and environmental organizations, BP also faced charges for manslaughter.

The process can be complicated for people trying to collect money from BP. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, when going through the claim process, if specific steps aren’t followed within a specific time frame, people can lose their eligibility for the money that is owed them. Many people affected by the gulf oil spill have relied on lawyers to advocate for them.