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Illinois fire safety worker burned during firework demonstration

When many people think of workers' compensation, they may typically think of large, industrial companies. However, even some non-profits are required to carry workers' compensation insurance in order to protect those that are actively working for the organization.

As one somewhat unusual incident demonstrates, this can be a very beneficial in the right situation. As many Illinois non-profit organizations can confirm, some of the most interesting reasons for workers' compensation claims can be seen within these organizations, such as when a fire safety organization's assistant director ended up sustaining third-degree burns on the job.

The accident happened during a demonstration in which the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, in conjunction with the Fire Chiefs Association, worked together to demonstrate the possible danger of using fireworks available for sale in neighboring states. These fireworks said to be more powerful and dangerous than the ones that are legal in Illinois. In order to demonstrate the danger of these fireworks, the fire chief lit the fuses of two fireworks mortars placed on a wood pallet. However, the mortars slipped and a shell shot out, hitting the assistant director of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance in her foot as she stood among the crowd of onlookers.

Fortunately, she suffered the only injury related to the incident, which could have been much worse. She appeared more embarrassed than injured and was able to talk with the members of the media about the dangers of these types of fireworks. However, she decided to receive treatment for her wound, which was diagnosed as a third-degree burn.

While it is fortunate that the injuries she received were not more serious, it is unfortunate that such a safety demonstration proved the point more closely than was originally planned. Still, because she was participating in a work-related event, she may be eligible to receive workers' compensation for the injuries she sustained. This will allow her to receive compensation for the medical bills that were incurred during her hospital visit, as well as reimburse her for any lost time from work as she recovers.

In the future, it is hoped that other safety demonstrations will be a little less dangerous while still proving the need for caution.

Source: Daily Herald, "One injured during fireworks safety demonstration," Jake Griffin, July 3, 2012

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