As injuries at work go, few tend to be as serious and life-threatening as those suffered by firefighters. It is a career that can undoubtedly bring enormous prestige and rewards, but one that almost constantly poses threats to safety and wellbeing.
What kind of accidents at work can firefighters suffer?
There are numerous threats to the safety at work of firefighters and the one that immediately springs to mind is, of course, fire itself. Almost every time a firefighter goes out on a call, with the exception of rescuing cats from treetops, there is a real possibility that they may not return.
Fire is an en extremely dangerous element that can be dangerously unpredictable in its nature and incredibly difficult to control. You only have to look at the aftermath of a major fire to understand the havoc and devastation it can cause.
What other threats of injuries at work do firefighters face?
As well as the flames themselves, firefighters also face potential problems and work-related injuries caused by the following:
- Falling debris – A common side-effect of a serious fire, particularly in a building, falling objects can cause serious injuries to firefighters.
- Trips and falls – Rubble can pose a significant trip hazard to firefighters on a rescue mission whilst the structural damage caused to a building can result in floors, stairs etc being weakened which makes it very easy for firefighters to fall through them.
- Smoke inhalation – Whilst this is most likely to cause breathing difficulties, the most serious cases of smoke inhalation have resulted in death.
- Road traffic accidents – Whether it’s a case of the fire engine being driven too fast or other motorists being insufficiently aware of their surroundings, accidents on the way to fires can, and do, happen.
How can firefighters guard against injuries at work?
The key to firefighter safety is comprehensive training in a variety of subjects. This includes:
- Driving the fire engine safely to avoid traffic accidents.
- Assessing buildings in a fire to see where they are structurally weak and collapses are likely.
- Dealing with a range of fires themselves.
- Safely entering and exiting a burning building.
If you suffer injuries from a workplace accident, then give our legal team at Accident Advice Helpline a call on 0800 689 0500. They can help establish whether you have a claim for work accident compensation and can take your case on a no-win, no-fee* basis.
Date Published: February 26, 2014
Author: David Brown