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Industrial fire in Phoenix ruled accident

A fire that gets out of control in a factory setting can quickly turn catastrophic. Depending on the industry, there may be flammable chemicals and products that escalate the blaze. An on-the-job injury, including anything from a slip-and-fall to serious burns, could require significant medical treatment. Work accidents in Arizona can put an employee on disability during a lengthy recovery.

An industrial fire in Phoenix last February was ruled an accident by The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety. ADOSH said they are currently not investigating the accident. The fire happened at the metal recycling firm Mega Metals where it burned through equipment, supplies and a neighboring business structure. Phoenix Fire said that negligence was involved in the accident. The fire was believed to have started because the company stored bales of hay too close to welding operations. The highly flammable bales are believed to have sparked the fire.

A negligent employer can be at fault if an accident takes place. Industrial accidents can turn serious very quickly because of heavy machinery, health-hazardous materials and storage failure. Phoenix Fire said they issued notices of non-compliance to the company after the fire. An injury at work that causes significant absences should have compensation for lost time, lost wages and hospital rehabilitation. A significant burn can involve a lengthy recovery.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe work environment for their employees. In Arizona, that means handling hazardous materials safely and adhering to proper guidelines set forth by ADOSH. An accident can quickly turn tragic if safety is not paramount. Finding compensation can be very difficult as well. An employer may be required to pay additional compensation if they were negligent in an accident.

Source: Kpho.com, "Phoenix FD: Industrial fire ruled accidental," Rebecca Thomas, April 21, 2014

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