Number 1 is an engineer - a responsible guy who is also a gun enthusiast. He was at a friend’s house, where his friend was showing him a new .45 he bought recently. The friend started taking the gun apart, it accidentally discharged and blasted a hole through my coworker’s left forearm. The recovery time will be on the order of years, and when it’s all over he will have extremely limited use of that hand for the rest of his life.
Number 2 is a cook. The cooks at this restaurant all keep their aprons in the same closet, where another unknown worker stored a bottle of cleaning solution that was not secured properly. This extraordinarily flammable solution vaporizes at room temperature, and the lid was not completely tight, so the fumes from this cleaning agent soaked into the aprons overnight while the place was closed. The next morning, number 2 put his apron on, started up the stove, and was engulfed in flame. He got it worst on his hands as he tried to put the flames out. Full-thickness burns on both hands, partial thickness just about everywhere else you can imagine. This guy is fucked, and will likely lose at least one finger and most of the use of both hands. I hope his outlook is more optimistic than my best guess, but he was on fire for literally 45 seconds while the other cooks tried dousing him with pots of water and fire extinguishers to no avail.
Anyway, help me hope for the best for these two people, even though I barely know them. The little I do know is that they’re both decent fellows who love their family, and they’re very unlikely to be able to continue in the line of work they’re in with the injuries they sustained.
Damn, that’s awful for both of them. Getting seriously hurt sucks. One thing sticks out in both cases, neither one was hurt in an accident. Both were hurt due to someone’s negligence. The gun didn’t accidentally discharge, the idiot neglected to clear the chamber before beginning to disassemble the weapon. In the second case, improper storage of a volatile chemical created a situation that was virtually certain to result in serious injury.
I’m not one who advocates jumping on the "Sue them! bandwagon, but in both cases it seems justified.
Horrible accidents, both of them, I hope they rehabilitate well, and quickly with a minimum of pain
that said, as stated upthread, the person that was injured with the .45 did neglect to follow the Four Rules of firearm safety, it wasn’t an accident, it was a Negligent Discharge, reliable, well made firearms in good repair just do not “go off”
The Four Rules;
1; Treat EVERY gun as if it’s loaded - he did not safely clear the pistol before field stripping, you drop the magazine out of the gun first, then you work the action to clear the chamber, ejecting the cartridge that was in the firearm, then you lock the action open, verify that there is nothing in the firing chamber and the magazine well is empty, only then do you start the disassembly process
2; keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times (don’t point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy)- since he blew a hole in his arm, the firearm was clearly not pointed in a safe direction
3; be sure of your target and what lies beyond - related to rule #2, the firearm was pointed at his arm, and the bullet passed clear through his arm, retaining enough energy to be dangerous
4; keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire
It’s unfortunate that this person has to suffer a long and painful rehab process, but this goes to show what can happen when the rules of firearm safety are not followed
Let’s not forget a serious safety error was made in the second case, too.
Chemicals can be dangerous. Learn how to safely handle them. You know those boring hazardous materials courses they make you sit through? If some shithead had been paying more attention, that might not have happened.
While I feel badly for case #1 this is more about negligence - you personally verify that a weapon has been cleared before you do things like cleaning or disassembling. Worker #1 is lucky to even have a hand/forearm - .45 ACP is a rather damaging round.
Case #2 was about the other (unnamed, unknown) worker’s negligence - case #2 involved the burned worker as collateral damage.
I didn’t intend for this to be a gun safety lecture. In my opinion gun accidents aren’t any more or less negligent than traffic accidents or any other kind of potentially deadly accident. The guy was very unfortunate, and yeah it was his friend’s fault, but who cares? His arm is a mess, and it’s going to cause him serious trouble for the rest of his life. It’s just plain old fashioned tragic, no lecture necessary. I feel really bad for the guy.
It’s actually the 2nd major accident to happen to an engineer where I work in the past month. Early February an Engineer had one of his fingers ripped off in the gears of a machine. Sure, he probably wasn’t following safety guidelines perfectly, but I’m not about to sit him down and point my finger at him and remind him of how careless he was around heavy machinery.
Just pointing out the obvious that in case #1, suing would involve potentially bankrupting a friend, whereas #2 involves a business. Not that anyone wants to get hurt as these guys did, but in general terms if I had the choice I’d prefer to be injured during the course of my job than by a private individual - unless that private individual was filthy rich and insured out the ass!
The injured parties probably have little say in the matter, tho, as their insurance will likely subrogate in both instances.
I’ll try to find out, but it didn’t happen on my shift and it was a different EMT that treated the guy. From what I understand, it’s an industrial type cleaning chemical they used for their kitchen appliances, and had a clearly printed warning on it. I’ll see what I can find out tomorrow and get back to you.
I was mainly thinking that in #1 the injured party would be suing an individual - and a friend, and in #2 a business. I suspect many people might feel differently about those 2 situations.
Also, the restaurant might well have more insurance than the individual. In either case, if the injured party is getting covered by their own insurance, then their insurance would most likely proceed against the negligent party’s insurance.
Finally, if the injuries/damages exceed the individual’s or the business’ insurance, then the injured party would have to proceed against the negligent party’s assets. If that is the case, #2 will be in better position, as he can go after the restaurant under multiple theories, possibly the responsible worker, the manufacturer of the solvent … As opposed to #1 who is limited to essentially bankrupting his buddy just to have his injuries addressed…
Of course, the restaurant in #2 might be an undercapitalized sole proprietorship owned by the injured party’s best friend … :rolleyes:
You imply that you are an EMT, but you have coworkers that include a restaurant cook, an engineer (of unspecified type), and an engineer who works with heavy machinery (post#9). I’m curious, what sort of business employs all of these disparate job titles? Real question, BTW, not saying that I doubt you.
I’m also curious about the identity of the cleaning fluid, since in my experience anything that was volatile enough to worry about also smelled like hell.