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The Dangers of Space Heaters at the Office

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 3, 2017

While we might be able to control how warm our homes are, many employees find that their workplaces are maintained at uncomfortably low temperatures to save on heating expenses. The common solution to this problem is personal space heaters.

Unfortunately, space heaters are a leading cause of fire accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Most of these incidents occur in the home, but they have been known to happen in the workplace as well. Faulty or defective space heaters can be responsible for a host of accidents, including burns, electrocutions, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

A number of different parties may be responsible for space heater accidents in the workplace. They might be the fault of a poorly designed or manufactured heating unit. Or, the manufacturer may ship a unit without proper labeling to inform the customer about hazards and proper operating instructions.

Space heater accidents can arise from a number of causes. In some cases, heaters are left on overnight. Other times, an electrical fire starts because too many heating appliances are plugged into the same wall outlet. In some cases, a heating unit will be kept too close to papers or other flammable materials, leading to a fire.

Many workplaces will have a policy in place that prohibits the use of space heaters or provides strict guidelines for their use. If your place of employment does not have such a policy, they could be found negligent for an accident that occurs because of a space heater. Additionally, offices and other work venues are responsible for educating their employees on what to do should a fire break out during work hours.

Injuries from workplace fires can include moderate to severe burns, smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning, and the exposure to noxious fumes. People who have suffered burn injuries will often require a number of expensive treatments, including emergency surgery, reconstructive surgery, hospitalization, skin grafts, and pain medication. They must also deal with lost wages, emotional and physical suffering, and other long-term issues related to their injuries.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a workplace fire, you should immediately seek representation from an experienced attorney who can help you secure full compensation from the liable parties. The Seattle burn injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. has over 40 years of experience advocating for the rights of Washington fire accident victims and their families. Call (888) 228-3860 today to schedule a free consultation.

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