New Jersey Workplace Fire Lawyers
Fighting for New Jersey Workplace Fire Victims
At approximately 10 pm Friday, May 17, 2019 a massive blaze erupted at the Alden Leeds chemical plant in South Kearny, New Jersey. This chemical fire spewed such a large amount of chlorine into the the air that local highways had to be closed and residents from nearby towns were advised to close their windows and remain indoors in order to protect themselves from the hazardous fumes. The Alden Leeds plant does not have a stellar safety record; since 1988 there was another major chlorine leak, a gas leak and two additional fires. Thankfully, no workers were injured in this most recent fire.
Fire safety has come a long way since the tragedy at New York’s infamous Triangle Shirtwaist factory that killed 146 garment workers back in 1911. There are now Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards to protect workers from hazards such as locked fire exits and inadequate fire extinguishing systems.
However, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were nearly 97,000 fires, 1455 deaths and 1,550 injuries in non-residential buildings in 2017. Each of these statistics increased in the ten year period of 2007 to 2016.
Causes of Workplace Fires and Explosions
Explosions and fires in the workplace are frequently caused by risk factors such as faulty gas lines, poor pipefitting, improperly stored combustible materials or open flames. Companies and other employers should have safeguards in place to protect workers from these workplace hazards:
- Electrical fires and wiring defects
- Lightning strikes
- Hazardous chemical reactions
- Static electricity
- Human error and negligence
Fire and Explosion Injuries
When a person is in or near a fire or explosion, they are at risk for injuries such as respiratory system damage, burns, disfigurement and scarring, cardiac arrest and death.
There are four types of injuries commonly associated with fires and explosions:
- Primary Blast Injuries: Occurs due to the effects of pressure on body tissues, affecting ears, lungs and the GI tract
- Secondary Blast Injuries: Occurs when flying objects strike nearby workers
- Tertiary Blast Injuries: High-energy explosions can lift someone off the ground and cause them to fly into surrounding objects
- Quaternary Blast Injuries: Crush injuries, burns, inhalation of toxic substances and everything else that occurs because of an explosion
If you suffered from a fire or explosion at your place of work, it was most likely due to the negligence of your employer, building management company or other responsible third party. You may have the right to be compensated for your pain, injury and suffering. Keefe Law Firm understands that many families depend on the income of an injured worker. We are dedicated to winning the benefits and compensation you deserve.
We can help you recover:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and future income
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life from a permanent injury, disability or other factors
Keefe Law Workplace Fire and Explosion Settlements and Verdicts
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Workplace Fires and Explosions FAQs
How Do I Know if My Workplace is Safe?
Your employer is 100 percent responsible for ensuring that your workplace is safe. Under federal law all workers are entitled to a safe environment and U.S. employers must provide a workplace that is free of any and all known health and safety hazards. To protect against fires and explosions employers must comply with OSHA standards. On your jobsite, look for safeguards such as: a clutter-free site, proper waste disposal, safe chemical use and storage, building security, designated smoking areas, accessible fire extinguishers and an enforced fire drill and evacuation plan. If you have any concerns, you can file a confidential safety and health complaint on OSHA’s website.
Who Can I Sue for a Workplace Fire or Explosion?
Depending on the circumstances of a workplace fire or explosion there may be multiple entities responsible such as your direct employer, a property manager, the manufacturer of the material that caused the incident, or a subcontractor.
What Kinds of Injuries Are Caused by a Plant Explosion?
The most common injuries sustained by workers when they are involved in a worksite explosion or fire are burns, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), harmful effects and illness from toxic exposure, broken bones and fractures, hearing and vision loss and other serious and sometimes long-term negative health effects. In addition, workers may get hurt when others panic during an emergency evacuation. Indirect injuries occur when people are pushed out of the way, if they are hit by falling debris or flying objects or when tripping and falling when trying to escape.
New Jersey’s Work Injury Attorneys
At Keefe Law firm, we have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards for people hurt by injuries and illness from on the job:
Chemical and Toxic Substances Exposure
Scaffolding and Ladder Accidents
Heavy Machinery and Equipment Accidents
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At Keefe Law Firm, we stand for our injured clients to attain nothing less than the compensation they deserve. Talk to a lawyer today about your options.