Serious Burns In a Work Related Accident In Michigan

In Golec v. Metal Exchange Corp, 453 Mich 149; 551 NW2d 132 (1996), the employee, who had just returned to work after an extended disability leave, was instructed to load wet steel scrap which included aerosol cans into a blast furnace with a loading device that had been modified to remove its safety shield. Id. at 157 (Boyle, J.). Although loading wet scrap or aerosol cans into a blast furnace creates a high risk of a molten metal explosion, the employer instructed Golec to do the job. Id. at 158, 184-186 (Boyle, J.). Shortly after undertaking the assignment, as instructed by the employer, a minor explosion occurred, burning the employee on his arm. Id. at 158 (Boyle, J.). The employer again instructed the employee to finish the job. Id. at 158-159 (Boyle, J.). The employee continued loading the scrap, as directed by his employer. Id. Shortly thereafter, a more severe explosion occurred, causing serious burns to more than thirty percent of plaintiff's body. Id. Based on these facts, the Supreme Court concluded that a fact question existed concerning whether the employer actually knew that injury was certain to occur.