Most Connecticut residents probably don’t give much thought to their electricity until it goes out. But for some Connecticut workers, keeping the lights on is a full-time job – and sometimes a dangerous one.

Four Connecticut Light & Power workers were injured in an explosion recently when they were working in a manhole in Hartford. A company spokesperson said two of the workers had climbed down a manhole and were performing maintenance on underground cables when the explosion occurred. Two more were above the manhole. All four workers were taken to Hartford Hospital with minor injuries and were later released.

The explosion briefly knocked out power for more than 9,000 people and businesses, but was quickly restored. Connecticut Light & Power said the cause of the accident was still unknown. They still weren’t even sure what had exploded.

Connecticut workers who are injured on the job may be left with medical expenses and lost wages for the time they missed from work while recuperating. In the case of severe injuries, they may be left with the huge expenses that come with permanent disability.

Generally, the injured can be compensated for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit when their injuries were caused by another party’s negligence. However, the state of Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system is designed to avoid the expense and time commitment of lawsuits by providing workers who are hurt in an accident at work with a relatively quick way to get the benefits they need to help them with the expenses that come with an on-the-job injury.

However, the system can be difficult to navigate – especially when employers don’t want to admit a safety hazard exists or don’t want to honor their employees’ requests for benefits. Connecticut workers who have suffered job-related illnesses or injuries should get help understanding the applicable laws and their legal options.

Source: WTNH, “CL&P workers injured in explosion,” June 6, 2013