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Explosions are some of the worst industrial workers' accidents

Industrial workers in California face a host of safety hazards every day. Explosions are likely some of the worst industrial workers' accidents that can happen. Not only do they cause extensive property damage, but blasts and subsequent fire can cause different types of injuries that are often severe or fatal.

Injuries suffered in explosions are typically categorized in a specific way. Injuries that affect lungs, ears and the gastrointestinal tract are called primary injuries, and secondary injuries are caused by objects that are sent flying by the blast. Sometimes the severity of an explosion can lift workers off the ground and send them smashing into an object -- these are called tertiary injuries. All other injuries, including crush injuries and inhalation injuries or burns caused by toxic substances, are classified as quaternary injuries.

The severity of injuries suffered in an explosion is affected by several factors. The materials involved, the distance the workers are from the blast and any environmental hazards that are present can play a part in the types of injuries caused. Loose objects that are propelled, the presence of biological contaminants or radioactive materials can also be deadly.

The California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends compliance with its safety guidelines to prevent industrial workers' accidents. Injured workers are entitled to file workers' compensation claims, and the families of workers who lost their lives may claim death benefits. Basic compensation typically covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages while those who suffered injuries that caused temporary or permanent disabilities typically receive long-term or permanent assistance.

Source: work.chron.com, "Explosion Injuries in the Workplace", Leigh Ann Morgan, June 29, 2016

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