Poorly grounded electrical systems present a serious shock hazard, and building owners in Massachusetts are generally responsible for ensuring that this hazard does not exist. Improper grounding is among the most common electrical safety violations reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and it causes very serious injuries and even fatalities.
Improper grounding caused an explosion in Woburn on Tuesday, and one man suffered critical injuries in the incident.
The explosion took place when an employee was vacuuming machinery inside of the Powderpart company. The state fire marshal has now reported that because the vacuum was not grounded properly, static charge built up, ultimately resulting in a dust explosion.
The employee who was vacuuming suffered life-threatening injuries and another person who tried to help the man suffered minor injuries, according to a news report.
A police officer also suffered smoke inhalation-related injuries during the response effort.
After an incident such as this, it is important to determine who is responsible for the improperly grounded appliance. People who are injured in explosions caused by negligence are often able to obtain compensation for their injuries, wage losses and damages. When explosions result in fatalities, the loves ones of the victims may pursue wrongful death actions against responsible parties.
As this electrical explosion took place on the job, workers’ compensation benefits may also be available.
In any event, when explosions cause catastrophic injuries, it is important that those who are responsible are held accountable, that victims obtain compensation and that steps are taken to prevent additional accidents from taking place.
Source: The Boston Globe, “Static charge blamed for Woburn explosion, fire,” Melissa Hanson, Nov. 8, 2013