Houston Workplace Flash Fire Accidents Attorney
A flash fire is a sudden, intense fire caused by the ignition of a mixture of air and a dispersed flammable substance such as dust, flammable or combustible liquid, including aerosols or fine mists, or a flammable gas. Flash fires burn at high temperatures, are short in duration, and are rapidly moving. Workplace flash fire accidents continue to claim lives in Texas.
Flash fires burn with such intensity that they cause extensive damage in a short amount of time. Also, they burn at intense heat, causing the air to reach high temperatures. If inhaled, this air can harm lung tissue. Flash fires can also cause smoke burns.
As flash fires burn, they consume a good deal of the oxygen around them and create smoke. As a result, flash fires in confined spaces can result in death by asphyxiation or smoke inhalation.
Iron in the Fire – Video Demonstrating the Dangers of Flash Fires
The video, entitled “Iron in the Fire,” features three computer animations showing how fine metal particles can result in deadly flash fires. In the video, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairperson, Rafael Moure-Eraso, notes that “Combustible dust is a serious workplace hazard across the country. Since the Chemical Safety Board was established in 1998, three of the four deadliest accidents we have investigated have been combustible dust explosions.”
The video and education attempts by the CSB are intended to educate workers and employers on the dangers of flash fires. This is a hazard that is present today in many workplaces and must be addressed to save lives. Flash fires are preventable, and safety measures must be taken to protect workers.
Workplace Flash Fire Prevention
Facilities that produce dust, such as sugar plants or blasting bays, need to be thoroughly cleaned. Dust can hide on elevated surfaces and get into nooks and crannies in the walls, floors, and ceilings. When this dust is not removed and breaks free, meeting an ignition source, deadly flash fires can occur. Preventative measures can include:
- Protective clothing made of fire-retardant materials, such as Nomex, can reduce burn injuries
- Safety procedures and training, including identifying combustible materials such as dust and vapors that can cause a flash fire
- Hot work permit procedures that identify hazards, and create a safety protocol for safely dealing with those hazards while performing the hot work
- Oxygen and fuel vapor monitoring
- Consistent and thorough air filtering system to remove combustible dust in work areas, together with a facility cleaning program
When supervision and safety measures fail, workers can be injured. Flash fires cause extreme harm to everyone in the vicinity.
Contact a Houston Workplace Flash Fire Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a flash fire, contact a Houston workplace accident attorney with any questions you may have. Learn your rights and hold the responsible parties accountable for your damages and losses. Chelsie King Garza has experience handling flash fire cases.