Understanding the Concern About Workplace Gas Exposure
An article published recently by the Miami Herald indicates that workers at an oil and natural gas fired plant in Massachusetts have gone on strike over what they call public safety issues and concerns about working conditions. Employees at Mystic Generating Station, the largest power plant in the state and a 2,001-megawatt plant, have alleged through their union that their employer has repeatedly cut corners and deferred important maintenance upgrades, placing them all in danger around the highly poisonous materials they work with. The plant owners have publicly attested that the facility is being safely operated and maintained and remain in negotiations with the union.
Why Are Workers Concerned About Workplace Gas Exposure?
While the dispute outlined above has not yet been resolved, the basis of concerns about workplace safety regarding gas is understandable as it is a highly combustible material and working around it can place employees at a high risk of injury when they come into contact with it without the appropriate protections. Unfortunately, there are many ways that workers can be tragically injured or even killed in workplace gas-related accidents. For this reason, workers should always attend required training and use provided safety gear when it comes to working around gas. In addition, workers should understand that employers are required to undertake safety measures to help prevent accidents. However, even when workers are doing everything asked of them, they can still, unfortunately be injured.
What Are Common Injuries Caused by Gas Leaks at Work?
Some of the most common injuries that can be caused by workplace exposure to gas include:
- Explosions. This is likely the scenario that comes to mind immediately when thinking about the potential consequences of a gas-related workplace accident. Tragically, in 2018 almost 800 workers incurred fatal occupational injuries as the result of a workplace fire and/or explosion according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And sadly, even when explosions aren’t fatal, they can still lead to life-altering injuries such as severe burns, blindness, scarring, and even psychological trauma.
- Respiratory damage. While it probably comes as no surprise, breathing in gas fumes, especially repetitively over an extended period of time, isn’t healthy for your body and can lead to respiratory damage. In addition to causing breathing problems, inhaling gas pushes oxygen out of the body which can actually lead to the brain being choked. If this continues for long enough, it can lead to a severely low oxygen supply which can result in permanent neurological injuries and brain damage.
We Offer the Legal Help You Need.
You are likely entitled to obtain workers’ compensation benefits if you have been injured at work in a gas-related injury while you were working during the scope of your employment. However, obtaining the benefits that you deserve can be a difficult process and obtaining legal help can provide you with a support team that will fight for your rights and ensure that you get the compensation you’re entitled to. It takes significant experience for a lawyer to successfully help you obtain workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace gas accident. Fortunately, the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people in similar circumstances and you should allow us to help you get the benefits you deserve. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.