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Burned injured worker nears full recovery

A man's wife could not recognize her own husband after he was involved in a fire at his place of employment. He suffered such horrific burn injuries that only upon hearing his voice did she finally believe it was him.

In fact, after the workplace accident, this man suffered burns on over 60 percent of his body. More than 20 percent of these burns were third-degree burns.

The employee was one of three refinery workers who were badly burned in a flash fire that shot through a refinery valve on which the employees were working. In his case, this man's body was burned within seconds.

This injured worker spent about six weeks in several different burn centers receiving medical treatment for his burns, including the Northern Colorado Medical Center. He suffered through the catastrophe with the help of many pain medications to control the severe pain he was in. After rounds of skin grafts and months of recovery, he did finally return back to his job, working up to his full shift over a matter of time.

Since the accident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did fine his employer in the amount of $155,000. OSHA also cited the company for 11 safety violations. The refinery has made attempts to ensure the safety of its employees. The company also apologized to the victims and ensured that they received the best medical care available.

With that assistance, it is expected that this worker will be fully recovered within two years of the accident, possibly with some burn scars to prove his near death experience. In the meantime, he has his job back, and he also may be entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits for the injuries he suffered in this work-related accident.

Source: Star Tribune, "From 'hell and back,' Sinclair fire victim nears full recovery," Adam Voge, Dec. 23, 2012

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Eley Law Firm
2000 S. Colorado Blvd. No. 2-740
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