It is no surprise that fighting fire is one of the most dangerous careers. UK volunteer fire-fighters put themselves on the front line and at risk of explosion, smoke and fire; it is a job that requires strength, courage and guts.
Volunteer fire-fighters are often in rural areas and may work alone without full-time crews. In cities it is more likely they will be extra to the standard service but they are sometimes required to work with water carriers, hydraulic platforms or other equipment.
Given the high possibility of accidents at work in this dangerous profession it is useful to know that if you suffer an injury in an accident that is somebody else’s fault then you may be entitled to compensation and Accident Advice Helpline can assist you in making a claim.
But what are the common fire-fighting injuries and accidents?
On the job deaths for fire-fighters are most commonly cardiac arrest. The occupational hazards such as exposure to toxic gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide in particular types of fire will increase cardiovascular conditions.
Exposure to smoke is associated with atherosclerosis and exposure to loud noises can add to hypertension and “ischemic” heart disease.
Add to all this the stress and extreme physical exertion required in the job and the cardiovascular system is clearly under a lot of pressure.
Due to the important insulated jackets and trousers that fire-fighters wear, the heat that they are exposed to cannot be shed and with high levels of physical exertion they can suffer heat stress and dehydration.
There are monitors that keep track of the physiological state of fire-fighters on duty which should prevent these levels becoming dangerous but there is a high risk if these things are not monitored.
When a building or part of a building falls down, often without warning, fire-fighters become trapped inside a building or crushed. It is important to keep up solid communication and fire-fighters usually carry a personal safety alert system so they can easily be found. If communication is not maintained then the chance of injury in the workplace is increased dramatically.
It has been reported that fire-fighters are at a high risk for some types of cancer. Mesothelioma, caused by asbestos exposure, was at twice the rate of the normal population and young fire-fighters also developed prostate and bladder cancer at a higher rate.
Leukaemia is also rumoured to have increased levels among fire fighters potentially due to exposure to carcinogenic chemicals and radiation.
Fires and explosions
In the same way that building collapses can kill, fire itself can spread quickly and out of control and trap fire-fighters, while explosions can be a dangerous hazard if they are caught in the blast area.
If you have been injured in a work place accident in the last three years and it was somebody else’s fault then make a claim for compensation with Accident Advice Helpline. Call us today on 0800 689 0500, for a free initial consultation.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice