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Work-related injuries sustained by 2 men after an explosion

North Carolina companies have a duty to provide a safe working environment for all workers on the property, even if the workers are contractors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides companies with safety rules and regulations and has a strict monitoring program in an attempt to reduce work-related injuries. OSHA initiated an investigation at the premises of a food manufacturing company in another state after two contract workers were injured while working.

The employees were working on the sprinkler system on the industrial site of a food company. The pipes were pressure tested when the accident happened. It was reported that the pipe diameter inside the building is smaller than that of the outside pipes, and it was suspected that an air bubble had formed inside the pipes. When the two workers attempted to release the air, an explosion occurred.

One man suffered head injuries and was airlifted to a hospital while the second worker sustained hand injuries and went to a local hospital for treatment. The company on whose premises the accident happened replied to the media report and stated that they were awaiting the results of the OSHA inspection. They said that their commitment to the safety of all workers on their premises remains a priority, and they would make safety changes as per OSHA's requirements.

Regardless of any potential OSHA citing or fines issued following the investigation, the injured workers may still hold the owner of the property liable. Workers in North Carolina and other states retain the right to claim benefits from the workers' compensation fund for any work-related injuries. If their claims are substantiated and approved by the fund, they could receive compensation to cover medical expenses, along with a percentage of lost wages.

Source: whsv.com, "Workplace explosion sends two to hospital", Jeff Williamson, April 17, 2014

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