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Workers' compensation: Trouble for PG&E lineman

Working as a "troubleman" for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company could be hazardous, as proved by an employee who was recently rushed to the hospital for treatment of burn injuries. Although the California workers' compensation benefits will likely cover his medical expenses, burn injuries sometimes leave permanent scars. A PG&E spokesperson says the term "troubleman" is used for workers who serve as first responders to reports of electrical problems.

Reportedly, the worker was called out to attend to a voltage problem at approximately 9 p.m. on a recent Wednesday. The employee was in the bucket of a lift truck from where he attended to the problem. A transformer failure at approximately 10:15 p.m. caused an explosion that set the PG&E truck, a second vehicle and the power pole on fire.

The severity of the workers injuries were not reported. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokesperson says the agency will investigate the accident to determine what caused the explosion. At the same time, the company's compliance with regulations will be evaluated to identify safety violations.

Burn victims might be unable to return to work for extended periods, especially if skin grafting is necessary. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance program is here to provide financial assistance. The insurance typically covers medical expenses and lost wages. Navigating the benefits claims process while in the hospital or recovering from burn injuries could be challenging, but an experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with the administrative and legal steps of the claims process.

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