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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Injured workers: OSHA investigates preventable burn incident

Industrial facilities nationwide, including in Colorado, are typically dangerous areas. Regardless of any employee’s level of experience, continuous compliance with safety regulations is required. The slightest safety error in the presence of industrial machines and equipment can have severe consequences, and injured workers can be costly for any company, and detrimental to the financial stability of the victims.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a workplace accident that caused serious burn injuries to a worker at a sugar plant in a neighboring state earlier this month. Although the investigation is not complete yet, a preliminary OSHA report indicated the accident was preventable. The employee was a member of a contracted crew who was cleaning the inside of an evaporator when he was injured.

An OSHA spokesperson said all energy sources were not isolated and controlled at the time. This allowed hot liquid to pour over the worker and cover 75 percent of his body with burn injuries. Reportedly, three entities are being investigated — the sugar company and two cleaning companies, one of which employed the injured worker.

Injured workers in Colorado who have to cope with the consequences of burn injuries might have a long road to recovery. Skin grafts are often necessary, and every procedure of this ongoing process causes pain and discomfort. Not only may the medical bills become overwhelming, but also the loss of income. Fortunately, victims can claim benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance system, and experienced attorneys in that field can assist with the navigation of such claims to allow victims to recuperate.

Source: NBC Nebraska, “OSHA official: Scottsbluff burn accident was preventable“, Jan. 14, 2017

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