Eight injured in fire at hospital

Eight injured in fire at hospital

Fires do not have to be large, uncontrollable blazes to cause burns, smoke inhalation and other injuries. In one recent fire, eight people were injured when a fire broke out at a hospital. A fire started in an elevator shaft of the building, which is under construction.

Crews were welding in the shaft before the fire started. The fire was reported at about 9:30 a.m. and was out by 10:15 a.m. It was a one-alarm fire, which is a less serious designation than a two-alarm or three-alarm fire. Despite this, multiple people were injured. Seven were construction workers who suffered from smoke inhalation as a result of the fire. The other was a firefighter who injured her arm.

Fortunately, the fire did not result in severe burns or fatalities, and a fire official said the damage would not likely cause significant delays to the project. The San Francisco hospital where the accident happened was not disrupted by the accident.

However, the accident still raises questions about how the fire happened and what, if anything could have been done to prevent the fire or injuries to the workers and firefighter. Construction workers face a variety of hazards on the job. They can fall, be crushed, run over by heavy machinery or face any one of myriad other potentially fatal dangers.

Fires, fortunately, comprise a small portion of those injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, fires and explosions account for 3 percent of the fatal workplace injuries that occurred in 2011.

Sources: KGO-TV San Francisco, "7 construction workers, firefighter hurt in SF General fire," June 18, 2013; Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2011, Sept. 20, 2012


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