Gas Explosions: Dangers for Workers in the Gas Industry
The gas industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States, with more deaths from fires and explosions than any other private industry. Injuries and deaths occur despite extensive regulation by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA).
Explosions are one of several major dangers facing workers in the gas industry. Extensive legal liability often arises from these accidents, and skilled legal help is indispensable because liability can be difficult to prove.
Causes of Explosions
When an explosion occurs, in many cases it is discovered that the root cause was a failure to comply with OSHA safety regulations. An explosion might also occur due to:
- Mishandling or inadequate maintenance of containers and other equipment
- Improper or careless excavation
- Transportation or storage of flammable materials
Although under U.S. tort law an employer can generally be held liable for the on-duty misdeeds of its employer, even a company using contractors rather than employees might be held liable if it failed to properly train its personnel in safe operations and OSHA regulatory compliance.
Alternatively, the culprit for the explosion might be a defective product such as a safety valve or a warning system, and the appropriate defendant might be the company that supplied the product.
An explosion will cause four main types of injuries:
- Blast wave injuries: Concussions, inner ear problems, perforated stomach lining and a host of other physical problems.
- Debris injuries: Shrapnel-style wounds and eye injuries are among the most common injuries.
- Impact injuries: Impact injuries occur when your body is tossed against a hard surface by the blast. Injuries can include concussions, brain damage, broken bones and even decapitation.
- Heat injuries: Skin burns as well as lung ailments – COPD, asthma and similar maladies.
“Negligence” is a legal term that essentially means carelessness. The best way to prove negligence in most workplace gas explosion cases is to prove a violation of OSHA regulations. In addition, you must prove that the violation caused the explosion, which might be difficult to do, and that you suffered damages (your damages will be limited to the amount you can prove).
If the explosion was caused by a defective product, such as a defective valve or pipe, you can sue anyone in the entire chain of distribution of the product including the manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retailer, or all of these. To win, you must generally show the existence of a design or manufacturing defect that rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.
Other than these elements, you don’t need to prove that the defendant did anything wrong. The retailer may have done nothing but take delivery of the product from the wholesaler and sell it, for example, but that does not relieve the wholesaler from liability.
If your spouse was killed in a gas explosion, you may file a “wrongful death” lawsuit in your own name. In some cases, you may be able to file such a lawsuit if you are a close blood relative of the victim.
Contact Zinda Law Group Today
If you have been injured in a workplace gas explosion that you suspect was someone else’s fault, you will need expert legal representation to recover your losses. Zinda Law Group is a top-notch personal injury law firm that has developed a superior client reputation and has been approved by the Better Business Bureau®.
Our attorneys are passionate about their clients, and they will walk the extra mile to ensure that you get the justice you deserve. Call us as soon as possible at 800-863-5312 for a free initial consultation.
Where Zinda Law Group Practices:
As we’ve grown we expanded out west to El Paso, Texas subsequently into Arizona adding Tucson Personal Injury Lawyers to the firm, as well as adding offices in Colorado including Denver Personal Injury Lawyers and the surrounding cities such as Colorado Springs.
Types of Cases We Handle:
We also have a team of attorneys that have experience serious injury cases such as car accidents, wrongful death and truck accidents. We also have experience handling more complex cases such as gas explosions and drug injury cases, such as the Taxotere® Lawsuits.