Fires and explosions occur frequently in homes and workplaces, many times through no fault of a homeowner or employee. When fires and explosion accidents take place and serious burn injuries and wrongful deaths result, explosion lawsuits are likely to be filed.
Burn Injury litigation can take many forms, though most often will target companies who either produce unsafe products or employers who fail to protect their workers.
Explosion burn injury lawsuits can recover compensation for victims and plaintiffs who suffer from preventable injuries. Product liability claims and employer negligence lawsuits may follow.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio product liability attorney and workplace injury lawyer reviewing Ohio explosion lawsuits and burn accident for plaintiffs.
Causes of Explosions
Preventable gas explosions can result from negligent management, unsafe work conditions, or defective equipment. If investigators find evidence of a defective product, or safety violations that caused the explosion, victims and families can take legal action and hold an employer liable for any injury that results.
Gas explosions are likely to cause physical injuries and serious burn injuries. Victims can seek compensation for physical, emotional and financial damages, as well as lost wages.
Whether in the home or at work, there may be several combustible products and flammable materials. Consumers and workers may be able to prevent some fires and explosions, however, defective products and inherently dangerous workplaces exist. The following may lead to fires and explosion incidents:
Preventing Workplace Explosions
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that an average of more than 5,000 employees are injured each year in industrial accidents.
Important safety precautions are critical in preventing explosions. Precautions in risky positions include wearing safety gear such as hard hats, goggles, gloves, and boots. It is also important to train employees on safe practices in workplaces that have gasses present.
Handling hazardous materials correctly is crucial in preventing industrial explosions. Holding regular inspections, maintaining safety data sheets, and installing gas leak detectors can be the difference between life and death.
Many gas explosion accidents are caused by faulty equipment, a failure to follow safety procedures, and the negligence of management and contractors.
Burn injuries are the most likely sustained injuries when an explosion occurs. Extreme pressure from an explosion can cause damage to a victim’s ears and lungs. Also flying debris can lead to serious lacerations, and head injuries. Explosive blast injuries include the following:
- Primary blast injuries are caused by the initial pressure created by an explosion. The pressure affects tissues throughout the body. Pressure and shock waves rupture ear drums, cause concussions and abdominal hemorrhaging.
- Secondary blast injuries are caused when explosions send debris through the air, leading to secondary injuries. Eyes and other areas are subject to penetrative injury.
- Tertiary blast injuries are caused by high-energy explosions that toss victims to the ground or into another object. Bone fractures, internal injuries and head and neck injuries are common.
- Quaternary blast injuries include all other injuries caused by an explosion, including respiratory injuries, burns and crush injuries.
Flammable gases, often found compressed or liquefied at the workplace, can burn or explode under certain conditions. Gasses commonly found on work sites may include:
- Vinyl Chloride
- Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)
- Hydrogen Sulfide
Industrial Plant Explosions
Heavy industries like mining, fracking, manufacturing, construction and others use a variety of chemicals and materials that are combustible and posing a safety hazard. If employers do not properly train workers or provide protective gear to prevent burn injuries, the employer may be held liable following a fire, explosion or burn injury.
Dust explosions can occur in agricultural areas, mills, wood production areas, or anywhere there are large piles of combustible dust: grains, sawdust, powders, plastics and other materials can be a hazard.
A mixture of combustible dust, confined spaces, oxygen and a source of fire can fuel dangerous workplace dust explosions.
Defective valves and other poorly maintained equipment can lead to fires and explosions. Faulty valve accidents can be catastrophic and industrial explosions are likely to cause injury and employee deaths.
Workplaces at Higher Risk for Gas Explosions may include:
- Oil & Gas Refineries
- Fracking Sites
- Transport Depots
- Chemical Plants
- Lumber Plants
- Construction Sites
- Manufacturing plants
- Mining operations
- Power Plant
- Fertilizer Plants
Natural Gas Explosions
Homeowners may also be at risk of gas explosions and fire injuries. Natural gas is a widely used, though it can also be highly unstable and cause catastrophic home explosions.
Natural gas explosions in the home can occur from gas leaks in the pipes, gas that doesn’t contain the required smell as a safety precaution, or from a defective household product, such as a stove that has a faulty shutoff valve. There are potentially numerous parties that could be held responsible.
One problem in natural gas explosion claims is identifying and proving the source of the explosion. This can be a difficult task. After a natural gas explosion, contact an experienced explosion accident lawyer to investigate the cause.
PAM Can Explosions & Kitchen Accidents
Cooking spray accidents have been on the rise in the last few years, as Conagra and other cooking spray makers have released unsafe products that have resulted in kitchen explosions and severe burn injuries.
PAM cooking spray explosions have left several victims hospitalized and scarred for life. Plaintiffs and consumer safety attorneys have filed product liability and Ohio explosion lawsuits, seeking settlements and punitive damages against the negligent manufacturers.
Pressure Cooker Explosions
Multicooker accidents and pressure cooker burn injuries are relatively common. Pressure cooker defects have been reported for many years, and several recalls have been initiated by consumer safety agencies. Still, there are hundreds of pressure cooker accidents each year in the United States.
Kitchen appliances can be extremely hazardous, even when used as intended. Pressure cookers may have defective seals, faulty temperature gauges or made of cheap materials than cannot withstand high heat required to function safely.
Gas Grill Explosions
Gas grills can be either a man’s best friend, or can be a very dangerous item. Defective gas grills have been linked to dozens of burr injuries, home fires and propane explosions.
Gas grill recalls have been initiated for defective products prone to explosion accidents and fire hazards. In December 2019, Bass Pro recalled 3,300 Mr. Steak Gas Grills due to a fire hazard. The fuel line reportedly could come in contact with flames and heat and melt the gauge. At least nine gas grill fires were reported.
Propane tank fires can be quite serious and result in explosion accidents in the home and at the workplace. Many propane explosions involve propane heaters.
Space Heater Explosions
Home heaters are an essential item for many Americans in the winter months, but their safety record indicates a real fire and burn injury hazard. Many space heaters are recalled each year due to fire hazards.
Home heaters can include patio heaters, propane heaters, fan heaters, ceramic heaters, electric and gas heaters. Each space heater model has its own set of safety risks, and can be dangerous if not used properly. Reports of unsafe home heaters should be sent to the CPSC, and any injury reported to an Ohio burn injury lawyer.
Arc Flash Explosions
Arc flash accidents and electrical burn injuries have occurred when workers engage in routine electrical work, including repairing AC units, installing lighting fixtures, changing fuses, and other tasks that may not seem hazardous.
Shutting down, or switching, electrical panels is considered live work and presents an arc flash accident hazard. Testing electrical components is considered live work and presents a shock hazard and an arc flash hazard. Both high-voltage and low-voltage applications can cause an arc flash explosion and subsequent burn injury. Electrical injury and arc flash explosions can be caused by the following:
- Aged, worn or broken panels and insulation
- Exposed live components
- Loose electrical connections
- Improperly maintained switches, fuses & circuit breakers
- Obstructed panels
- Water near electrical equipment
- High-voltage cables
- Static electricity
- Poorly maintained equipment
Vape Pen Explosions
Ohio explosion lawsuits have been filed following vaping accidents and vape pen explosion cases. Vaping devices use lithium batteries to power them, and vape pens have been known to overheat and explode, leading to serious injuries to consumers’ mouths and faces.
Vaping accidents are increasing in line with the popularity of vaping, and as unregulated vape products hit the market. Vaping products can be cheap and present major burn injury hazards.
Lithium Battery Explosions
Lithium batteries are in numerous kinds of products we use every day. Almost all new technology uses some kind of lithium battery, and some have been recalled for safety defects.
Battery explosions may be rare, though are a concern for consumers. Batteries can overheat through overuse or can explode if they come into contact with extreme heat or flames.
The Lyon Firm takes pride in representing plaintiffs in consumer safety and product liability cases. When a dangerous product on the market causes injury and damages, there are ways to seek compensation.
Burn injury lawsuits can be resolved out of court in large settlements, or can go to a jury trial where the courts have awarded verdicts in favor of inured plaintiffs. The Lyon Firm works diligently with industry experts to build the strongest case possible and to recover rightful compensation for victims nationwide.
Industrial companies that manage unsafe workplaces in Ohio can be liable for injuries sustained after a fire or explosion. In some cases, engineers and equipment manufacturers may be responsible for compensating victims of gas accidents.
In many past incidents, industrial equipment that houses hazardous gasses has been found to be inherently flawed. If machinery is found to have a faulty design or missing safety components, victims can file suit against large industrial employers and manufacturers.
The legal options for accident victims depend on what caused an accident and injury. Any industrial accident should be addressed by a lawyer qualified in complex cases. Joe Lyon is an industrial accident lawyer who has successfully litigated cases and obtained settlements for Ohio workers in addition to workers comp.