Two men injured on the job at gas pipeline site near Charlotte

Two workers were injured on the job last week when a generator exploded at a gas pipeline construction site in Gaston County, North Carolina. The early morning explosion was reportedly the result of propane vapors that leaked into a trailer on the site. When the generator was turned on, it caused a flash explosion.

The men, who are in their 20s, suffered burns to their upper bodies and faces. The two are x-ray technicians who were analyzing welds on the pipeline construction project. Both men were transferred to hospitals after the incident for treatment of their burns.

One man was treated and released, and the other was expected to be released after a few days, according to news reports.

A representative for the employer called the incident a “freak accident” in a news report. Apparently, a valve on the propane tank was not closed tightly enough, causing a bit of propane to leak out, according to the representative.

Though both men are expected to make full recoveries, they will probably be in need of workers’ compensation to cover their medical bills as well as lost wages if they are not able to return to their work duties right away.

In North Carolina, any injury that happens withing the scope of employment may qualify you to make a claim for medical benefits. In order to file a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina, the workplace accident victim should inform his or her employers of the injury within 30 days of its occurrence. In this case, because of the scale of the event, the employer was likely notified right away. Failure to notify the employer within 30 days does not necessarily bar recovery though, and victims may still want to consult press ahead with their claims.

Source: Gaston Gazette, “2 injured in flash explosion at Gastonia Plant,” Wade Allen, Feb. 16. 2012

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