Explosion & burn injuries occur every day on farms, during all phases and types of work. Along with equipment injury, they are among the most common causes of injuries and death in the agricultural industry. The National Institute of Occupational Health & Safety reports that explosions and fires are responsible for 21 and 39% of farmworker accidents, respectively.
Did You Know?
Dry grain dust can have up to 50 times more chance of exploding than coal dust!
Causes of Fires and/or Explosions:
If you are a farm worker, you work with machinery, chemicals, and stored crops. This means you’re always at risk of being burned by explosions and fires on the job.
Explosion & burn injuries have many causes:
- Gas in unventilated grain silos can explode.
- Defective, old or improperly maintained farm machinery can overheat.
- Farm machinery without proper safety features can ignite crops.
- Flammable fuels and lubricants can come into contact with hot machine parts.
- Fires intended to clear land can become out of control.
- Electrical shorts in equipment and facilities can spark a blaze.
- Underground natural gas lines damaged by tillage equipment can burst.
Explosion & Burn Injuries Cases
The following burn/explosion cases show just some of the variety of ways burns and explosions can happen on the farm:
- A 57-year-old quail and pheasant farm owner was attempting to light a brooder in one of the quail buildings on his farm when an explosion occurred. Two , a 31-year-old male and a 54-year-old male were moving quail from a delivery truck to the building and witnessed the explosion. They went into the building and pulled out the unconscious owner. One of the rescuers then went for help. All three men died due to severe burn and smoke inhalation injuries.
- A 70-year-old male was working on a small tractor in a field when a fuel line caught fire. He tried to use a larger tractor to pile dirt on the fire, but the larger tractor also caught fire and exploded. Three other men (ages 17, 72 and 89) were severely burned after tractor or hay baler repairs resulted in a large fire or explosion.
- A 69-year-old male was performing a controlled burn at his farm alone. It appeared that a canister filled with a combustible liquid ignited in the back of his pickup.
- A 67-year-old male was filling a propane bottle next to a person who was welding at a wheat field. The welding torch ignited the propane and caused a flash explosion.
Medical Care for Burn Victims is Costly
Burn victims typically require long hospital stays, multiple operations and expensive rehabilitative and reconstruction treatments, and the costs of such treatments are extremely high. Consequently, if you have been burned or a loved one has been killed by a fire or explosion on the job, you need expert legal advice.
Compensation is Available
Fires and explosions are common and highly likely on farms, and if you are burned while on the job, it’s not your fault.
That means: You deserve compensation!
If you have suffered a burn injury, if one of your family members has been burned or died on the farm due to a fire or explosion, or if you have lost wages due to a burn injury, you may be entitled to compensation—including payments over and above Worker’s Compensation.
For a free and totally confidential consultation, contact the Farm Injury Resource Center.