Because of their lack of commonality, most workers just assume that something like an explosion could never possibly happen at their work. That sort of thing only happens in the movies, right?
Unfortunately, they are not as rare as we may wish. Up to 5,000 workers annually are injured in explosion incidents.
Let's look at a couple of homegrown examples of workplace explosions
In June 2016, Bonnell Aluminum in Newnan, GA had a massive explosion that critically injured 5 workers and led to the plant temporarily
Two of the individuals had to be sent to the Atlanta Medical Center, and residents say the explosion could be felt up to a mile away.
The investigators and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believe that the explosion was caused by a steam explosion as the result of water coming in contact with molten metal.
In February 2016, a feed mill in Rockmart, GA had a fatal explosion that OSHA claims could have been preventable.
The cause of the explosion in the feed mill was an excessive amount of grain dust in the hammer mill area that would eventually ignite and explode, killing one 25-year-old worker.
OSHA has been adamant in raising awareness about combustible dust, and the feed mill found itself with 5 health violations and 15 serious offense violations.
For more information regarding combustible dust, click here.
While none of us want to consider that something like a workplace explosion could happen, history and statistics prove that wrong. Sometimes it is out of the worker's control and freak incidents, and other times it is something that can be prevented.
However, every worker is entitled to a safe and hazard-free workplace.
Major Causes of Workplace Explosions
We already touched on combustible dust, yet there are many factors and incidents that can lead to an explosion.
Some of the most common causes include:
- Combustible Dust
- Torch Cutting
- Flammable liquids
- Flammable gases
- Malfunctioning machinery
- Unproperly maintained or faulty equipment
- Overloaded outlets
- Static Discharge
- Wiring that is faulty or not up to code
There are more causes that could lead to an explosion, but these tend to be the most prevalent cases.
Always make sure to keep machinery and wiring up to code, properly maintained, and following adequate safety instructions.
For additional information about basic workplace safety precautions, click here.
Jobs Most at Risk for Workplace Explosions
There are many factors that should be considered whether a job/career is "good" or "bad."
Individuals quickly think of pay, convenience, labor, and hours when it comes to positive job qualities. However, job safety is a significant qualifier that should not be overlooked.
Obviously, incidents can happen anywhere and explosions are extreme and unexpected. However, it is clear that the likelihood of an explosion is higher at an industrial factory than, say, an elementary school or dentist office.
The jobs with the highest risk for a workplace explosion are the following:
- Gas and Oil workers
- Power-plant workers
- Pant factory workers
- Mine workers
- Compressed gas and chemical manufacturers
- Underground sewer and cable repair workers
Important note: The increased risk of workplace explosion does not inherently make these poor career choices. It is just a fact to be aware of when it comes to job safety.
Injuries Associated with Workplace Explosions
Explosions are extremely dangerous and any time they occur injuries are inevitably imminent.
The size of the explosion and the range in distance are determining factors, but the following are injuries commonly suffered from workplace explosions:
- Minor to severe burns
- Bone fracture
- Traumatic amputation
- An increase in existing medical conditions
- Crush injuries
- Spinal/back damage
- Blunt injuries
- Abdominal hemorrhaging
- Eye/vision damage
Other, non-physical, injuries suffered during workplace explosions include significant emotional trauma.
Can You Receive Compensation for Workplace Explosion Injuries
So you may be wondering whether or not if you're involved in a workplace explosion if you can receive financial compensation.
There answer is
Outside the state of Texas, almost all employers utilize a "no-fault" workers compensation. That means regardless of who is at fault or why the explosion occurred, you are eligible to receive compensation for your injury and trauma suffered.
Let the Brown Firm Fight for You
Don't suffer through your injuries and don't worry about fighting on your behalf alone.
The Brown Firm has a group of experienced and successful Georgia Work Injury Attorneys that you need in your corner to help protect all your legal rights and allow you to receive full financial compensation.
Many workers’ compensation settlements are inadequate to cover an injured or fatally wounded employee’s medical expenses and make up for lost wages.
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury due to an on the job explosion, you may be able to file a personal injury or product liability claim for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of ability to work.
If you live in Georgia, click the link below for a Free Workplace Explosion Consultation today.