Backfiring generator burns contractor in Swansea Mall accident

A couple of major explosions at plants across the country captured national headlines in recent months. But, not all fire-related workplace accidents involve a major explosion at a plant. Many burn injuries arise from incidents occurring on a much smaller scale, where one or more workers are exposed to chemicals or flammable fluids in an industrial accident.

The Department of Labor Statistics says that workplace fires or explosions account for roughly 3 percent of all workplace fatalities. But, Worcester workers' compensation lawyers know that many fire-related workplace incidents lead to non-fatal, but serious injuries.

Workers exposed to fire in the workplace can suffer a wide range of injury, including suffering the effects of smoke inhalation and the obvious risk of burn injuries when a fire breaks out.

Similarly, a fire itself can involve a wide variety of causes. A recent story out of Swansea, Massachusetts, highlights how a worker may suffer burn injuries from a freak accident in the workplace.

A worker at a construction site at the Swansea Mall suffered severe injuries while working on a generator at the construction site. The site supervisor says that the generator backfired, causing the worker’s hair and shirt to catch fire. Co-workers grabbed a fire extinguisher as the worker dropped and rolled. The worker and crew were able to extinguish the blaze, which apparently was fueled in part by a splash of gas.

The worker sustained serious injuries to his upper body and was airlifted from the construction site to a hospital. Sources indicate that the man’s injuries are severe, but not life threatening. The man reportedly is a subcontractor from out-of-state.

Source: WPRI, "Worker badly burned in 'freak accident'," Chris Raia, June 18, 2013