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Arc flash burn injuries could cause permanent disability

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety regulations for every industry, and one hazard that likely features in the safety rules for every industry is electricity. Regardless of the job, electricity will always pose a danger. Although employers in Ohio and elsewhere must protect employees against known workplace hazards, many fail to provide safety training that could prevent injuries which could result in permanent disability.

A construction worker in a neighboring state recently suffered serious burn injuries while he was involved in a construction project at a high school. Under unknown circumstances, the workers made contact with power lines, causing a flashover of electric current. Emergency workers rushed one worker to a medical facility for treatment of burn injuries. No mention was made of any other workers suffering injuries.

Details about what caused the incident were not released, and an investigation is likely in progress. It appears that the burns suffered by this worker may require long-term treatment. Costly skin grafts may have to be done, and it may keep the injured employee from returning to work for an extended period.

The Ohio workers' compensation insurance system allows injured workers to file benefits claims that will provide assistance with lost income and medical expenses. When permanent disability results, the program may offer additional benefits. Along with a percentage of the worker's basic wage to help with day-to-day expenses, the insurance program may also provide occupational training to equip the victim with new skills that may accommodate the disability caused by the injuries.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, "Man Burned During Construction Work At Mt. Lebanon High School", Amy Wadas, Dec. 11, 2016

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