When people hear of a burn injury in an industrial setting, most assume that a fire caused the injury. But in reality, steam is the culprit more often than not. Fires are rare in these types of settings, but steam has a variety of industrial and commercial uses that put workers into regular contact with the dangerous substance.
Though less and less common in residential buildings, boilers were a common source of heat for decades. Boilers are still used in commercial settings, for heating and other purposes, and steam has a variety of applications as well. These uses include:
- Sterilization, as hot water is still one of the most effective means of killing bacteria
- Power, as used in steam engines, which is often more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than other methods
- Moisturizing products, as steam uses less water and is more effective than many other methods
Four workers were injured at the Tyson meat processing plant on December 4th, 2017. Though a full investigation is still taking place, having more than one person injured in a steam-related accident frequently indicates a burst pipe or other breakdown rather than negligence on the part of workers.
In many industrial situations where a steam burn occurs, the accident is caused by a breakdown of parts or other problems outside the workers’ control. With all the moving parts in a modern factory, regular maintenance is the only way to keep things safe.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a workplace accident, whether suffering a burn or other type of wound, it is important to determine who was at fault and whether maintenance was deferred. Please, consult with an experienced attorney who can help manage your case and make sure the right questions are asked.