Fires and Explosions

Fire-Related On-the-Job Workers’ Comp Death Benefit

On-the-job accidents are nothing new, especially for those employed in the manufacturing and construction industries. And while being injured on the job — especially in hazardous working environments such as heavy industry and the construction trades — certainly is not an uncommon occurrence, there are numerous instances of fatal injuries sustained by workers here in New Jersey on a fairly regular basis.

For many people, going to work each day presents no real dangers. But industrial jobs have a wide range of potential physical threats associated with them. Some of these include Slip- trip-and-fall incidents; crush accidents involving large, heavy objects; being caught in production machinery or other industrial equipment; and electrocution mishaps.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C., all across the United States approximately 5,000 people die on the job each year from some kind of work-related accident. That’s more than 13 work-related fatalities nationwide each and every day. As professional workers’ compensation lawyers, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall understand how a single mistake or lapse of judgment can result in a fatal on-the-job accident.

These kinds of deadly events not only cause the unexpected loss of workers’ lives, they rock the very foundations of those victims’ families to an extent that few can imagine without experiencing such a loss themselves. The emotional and financial toll that such events can take on the survivors is often too devastating for words.

While the shocking reality of a loved one’s workplace death can shake a family emotionally, the situation can certainly be compounded if the family’s finances are also thrown into disarray by loss of the victim’s income. Fortunately, the State of New Jersey has laws requiring employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides financial relief for surviving spouses and dependent children in the wake of an untimely work-related death of a family breadwinner.

Workplace Death Benefits Following Fatal Fires

Some very dangerous conditions exist where workers are exposed to potential fire and explosion risks. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides rules and regulations to help make the workplace safe for industrial employees. The following information is an example of the OSHA safety standards that pertain to fire and explosion prevention.

One of the more tragic types of fatal workplace accident comes about due to fires that start in industrial settings. Whether on the manufacturing floor, warehouse storage facility or construction site, fire can easily kill and maim numerous workers by spreading quickly in an enclosed area with limited avenues of escape.

Federal fire safety standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1910) include the following:

  • Means of egress in case of fire
  • Design and construction of fire exit routes
  • Emergency action plans
  • Ventilation
  • Handling of compressed gases, such as acetylene, hydrogen and oxygen
  • Handling of flammable liquids
  • Storage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Fire protection and fire brigades
  • Portable fire extinguishers and fixed standpipe/hose systems
  • Automatic sprinklers
  • Dry chemical fire extinguishers
  • Fixed fire extinguishing systems; gaseous, water spray and foam suppression
  • Fire detection systems

Workplaces that can present some of the greatest risks for fire include welding repair operations; saw mills; chemical storage facilities; flammable gas distribution facilities; wood pulp, paper and paperboard factories; grain handling operations; and industrial facilities that handle hazardous and volatile substances. Safety regulations for the construction industry (OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1926) are also enforced in New Jersey, as well as nationwide. Some specifics include:

  • Ventilation
  • Safety procedures for highly hazardous chemicals
  • Design and construction of paint spray booths
  • Proper use of temporary heating devices, such as propane and kerosene heaters
  • Materials handling, storage, use and disposal
  • Welding and cutting procedures
  • Electrical wiring methods and equipment
  • Safety procedures for demolition operations

Other non-OSHA safety regulations and recommendations are also provided by organizations such as the International Code Council (ICC), National Institute of Standard’s (NIST), the International Building Code (IBC), and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA).

Our skilled legal team can assist victims’ families recover monetary compensation by filing a Workers’ Compensation Death Benefit Claim. If another company or outside unaffiliated party was responsible for the accident, there may also be an opportunity for a third-party wrongful death lawsuit. Scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation with our firm will allow you to more easily explore your options following these kinds of family tragedies.

Union City, NJ, Reducing Fatal On-the-Job Injuries From Explosions

Another very serious threat to employees who work in industrial settings is the danger of explosion. These sudden and violent events can injure or kill numerous workers, especially in confined spaces such as paint booths, automotive repair garages, storm sewers and steam tunnels.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards include regulations created to maintain a safe working environment where risk of explosion is present. The hazards associated with flammable liquids and compressed gases can be found in many industrial workplaces, including general manufacturing, shipyards, railroad stockyards, marine terminals, and throughout the commercial and residential construction industries.

Another area that presents significant risk to industrial workers includes welding, cutting, and brazing activities using oxy-acetylene gas mixtures. Fuel gases and air or oxygen can create extremely explosive conditions. OSHA standards require that no device or attachment used to mix air or oxygen with other flammable gases be allowed unless approved for that particular purpose.

Similarly, federal standards (OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1910) specify maximum pressures for acetylene gas (except in approved equipment) not exceed 15 psig (103 kPa gauge pressure) or 30 psia (206 kPa absolute). This regulation was created to protect against unsafe acetylene use in pressurized chambers such as caissons, tunnels and underground excavations. In addition, OSHA and state regulations exist to reduce the chances for an explosion related to natural gas leaks on construction sites and other industrial settings.

If you have lost a loved to a fatal industrial accident, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help. Every worker has the right to a safe work environment. New Jersey and federal law requires employers to provide employees with safe and healthy workplaces. If your family has lost a spouse or parent due to an accidental workplace explosion, you have the right to collect workers’ comp death benefits.

Workers’ Comp Death Claims Law Firm

While regulations help to reduce the frequency of job-related fire and explosion deaths, these tragic events do occur nonetheless. Whether you are the spouse, child, or other dependent who has lost a loved one through a fatal work-related accident, our New Jersey Workers’ comp attorneys can assist you and your family.

Daniel Santarsiero, Esq., and The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have decades of experience representing the families of industrial accident victims. We understand the law and have the experience to successfully prosecute dependency death claims in Monmouth, Middlesex, Union and Passaic counties, as well as the rest of New Jersey.

As required by law, every employer in New Jersey must carry workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance — there are exceptions for firms that are already covered by federal programs. As a kind of “no fault” insurance program, workers’ comp provides benefits regardless of who caused the injury or fatal accident. Although survivors are barred from suing employers for additional recovery, the law does allow for lawsuits brought against negligent third parties.

Our law firm can help surviving dependents understand their right to workers’ compensation death benefits, which can be extremely important when the victim was a primary breadwinner. The death claims lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are ready and willing to provide the necessary legal assistance in Survival Claim cases.

If you have lost a beloved family member as a result of an on-the-job industrial fire or workplace explosion, please contact Mr. Santarsiero at (800) 999-0897 for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. If you choose to retain our firm following your initial consultation, we will represent your family on a contingent fee basis, which means that we will not charge any legal fees to you unless we make a recovery on your behalf.

As lawyers in the field of work-related death benefit claims, our law firm is prepared to guide you through the claims process so that you and your family may receive the monetary compensation you are entitled to under New Jersey law. We are here to help.