Any kind of job involving hazardous waste can carry a great deal of risk and concern for one's health. While the focus at a facility handling hazardous waste may be on safety, workers can certainly get injured at work regardless of the safety precautions they may take. For one California worker, burns inflicted while he was collecting waste have led to serious injuries.
The worker was in a collection room of a hazardous waste facility when what was described as a 'flash fire' occurred. The fire led to burns that required treatment at a burn unit. The burns were described as significant but there were no specifics reported.
There is currently an investigation into the incident by California OSHA. The company where the fire occurred has said all workers at the facility were evacuated and the fire didn't spread. There were no other injuries from the fire; however, there was also no word as to whether any hazardous materials were leaked due to the fire.
It is unclear how much time it may take for the man who was injured at work to fully recover from his burn injuries. Regardless of the amount of time or the extent of his injuries, his employer is responsible for the medical costs and the lost wages he may have to endure while he recovers. If this particular worker's injuries leave him unable to work again, California workers' compensation laws will dictate the amount of compensation the burn victim will be entitled to.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "Amgen hazmat fire burns worker in South San Francisco, officials say," Joshua Melvin, May 15, 2013