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Dust Explosion Attorneys

Fighting for Industrial Workers' Rights After catastrophic Accidents

Dust Explosion Lawyers

Dust Explosions Are Devastating & Too Common in the United States

When listing explosive materials at a workplace, it’s easy to leave dust out of the discussion. However, airborne particulates from organic and metal materials have the potential to cause devastating explosions. Industrial plants that handle food, tobacco, textiles, pesticides, and fossil fuels are just a few of the locations where dust explosions have been known to happen. Because dust explosions can happen at facilities that don’t handle volatile substances, their occurrence can be as surprising to workers as they are devastating.

Have you been harmed in a dust explosion? Talk to the industrial accident lawyers at our firm: (888) 493-1629.

What Causes Dust Explosions?

Dust explosions occur when three critical components combine. When the perfect combination of dust and oxygen meets an ignition source, a devastating explosion will occur. As dust particles float through the air of industrial sites, they sometimes form a dense enough concentration to become explosive. Legislators and regulators have created numerous laws through the years that put strict requirements on companies to protect workers from dust explosions.

Factories that accumulate dust should have adequate dust collection systems. These systems filter dust from the air before it settles in one location. Sometimes, dust explosions occur due to the accumulation of the substance in a location that out of sight or reach. Employers must ensure that their dust collection systems are functioning and adequately filtering their workplace.

How Common Are Dust Explosions?

Despite regulation efforts from OSHA, dust explosions are still a problem in the United States. A recent study from Purdue University found that most agricultural dust explosions are preventable, yet they still happen at concerning rates. Professor Kingsly Ambrose, an agricultural and biological engineering professor at Purdue, tracks dust explosions at grain sites across the United States. Ambrose stresses that these accidents are preventable, cost millions, and change lives.

“When the grain is getting handled or processed, dust gets separated and suspended in the air and settles around the facility,” Ambrose said. “If there is an ignition generating spark, maybe due to the malfunction of a machine, friction or an electrical failure can ignite the dust. Although the primary explosion might be quite small, due to the amount of existing dust, the secondary explosions can be catastrophic.”

Notable Dust Explosions

In 2008, an Imperial Sugar refinery exploded in Port Wentworth, Georgia. The blast claimed the lives of 14 people and injured 36 more. Investigators determined that sugar dust caused the explosion. The incident was one of the worst in the nation’s history. It is believed that the refinery’s outdated construction allowed an unsafe accumulation of sugar dust in the air. This incident caused OSHA to develop new standards for testing for combustible dust.

In 2014, a Georgia-Pacific plywood plant exploded when particulates ignited. The incident killed two workers and injured four others. Arnold & Itkin’s dust explosion attorneys were able to build a strong case for our client who was injured in the blast. Our lawyers showed the Georgia-Pacific failed to provide a functioning dust collection system, winning a significant verdict on his behalf.

How to Prevent Dust Explosions

Dust explosions place thousands of industrial workers at risk each year. OSHA has developed a set of recommendations that employers should follow to protect their employees. Dust explosions are always preventable, and employers must take every step to ensure that they do not happen.

Ways to prevent dust explosions include:

  • Dust hazard inspections
  • Dust collection systems
  • Controlled ignition sources
  • Regular and safe cleaning
  • Notify employees
  • Worker education

If you have been injured, contact the dust explosion attorneys at Arnold & Itkin today. We've won billions for clients and offer free consultations. Call (888) 493-1629 to get started!

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $97 Million Massive Settlement Secured for Refinery Workers Arnold & Itkin is proud to share that after months of preparation for trial, our firm was able to secure a huge settlement for clients who were injured in a refinery fire. Find out more now.
  • $44 Million The Largest Verdict Ever Won for an Amputee Victim Arnold & Itkin represented a construction superintendent who required a leg amputation after a crane collapse. At the time of the collapse, our client had been standing behind a safety fence 100 feet away when a fallen piece of crane equipment pinned ...
  • $39.7 Million Record Verdict Won for Victim of Industrial Accident Attorneys Kyle Findley and Adam Lewis obtained a record $39.744 million verdict on behalf of a client who was burned in a severe dust fire and explosion at a plywood plant in Corrigan, TX.
  • $18.5 Million Second Verdict Won for 4 Victims of Geismar Explosion In our second trial on behalf of victims of the 2013 plant explosion in Geismar, LA, Arnold & Itkin won a massive verdict for 4 workers and their families. The verdict will go toward providing the extensive care they have required in the years since ...
  • $15.5 Million Massive Verdict Won for Geismar Explosion Victims Arnold & Itkin won a landmark verdict against Williams Companies, Inc. and child company Williams Olefins LLC for their part in the 2013 explosion that killed 2 workers and injured over 100 more. Williams Companies tried to blame the incident on ...
  • $13.7 Million Massive Settlement Won Only Months After Injury Arnold & Itkin represented a plant worker who was seriously injured in an accident on the job. Plant injuries are often complex, taking years to fully investigate and litigate. Fortunately, our firm’s work was able to secure a multi-million dollar ...
  • $12 Million Injured Worker Received Settlement for Burn Injuries Our industrial injury lawyers have recently recovered $12 million on behalf of a plant worker who suffered burns when a safety valve failed at the refinery where he was employed. His settlement will go toward providing him with extensive and ...
  • $11.7 Million Settlement Won for Plant Worker Injured During Turnaround Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin successfully recovered $11.75 million on behalf of a man who was injured while working a turnaround at an industrial plant. He was injured because he and his team were not informed of the plant’s dangers, and his ...
  • $11.6 Million Verdict Secured for a Worker Partially Blinded on the Job Our client was only offered $300,000 by the defendant for his near-total loss of sight in one eye, but the jury only deliberated for less than 2 days before they found the defendant guilty of defective equipment design. They gave our client an award ...
  • $4.97 Million Settlement Reached for Orthopaedic Injury Victim Our team worked to represent a client who was severely injured while working at a chemical plant. He was performing construction and maintenance work at the time of the incident. In the end, our firm was successful in settling the case for $4.97 mill ...
See All Results

Coming here to Arnold & Itkin puts a very high standard that I would hold up. They were always able to answer any questions, available any time that we needed. The outcome that they got is great.

Rhonda Wife of Work Accident Victim

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