Explosions in the workplace are a dramatic example of the industrial dangers faced by workers in many fields. They often draw media attention and it's not surprising that an explosion could lead to injuries and death for workers. However, the average person is likely unaware of their own risk of facing an explosion at work.
According to the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 122 workers were killed in 2012 by a fire or explosion at work. According to OSHA, an average of more than 5,000 more are injured each year.
Explosions and fires can occur at many workplaces, but careers facing the highest risk include:
- Chemical plants
- Manufacturing plants
- Mining operations
- Oil and gas industry
Chemicals in the air igniting from a spark or open flame cause most explosions in the workplace. Important safety precautions must be implemented to prevent explosions and to minimize the damage if one should occur. These procedures include wearing safety gear such as hard hats, goggles, gloves, and boots, as well as training employees on safe practices in the workplace.
Workplace Explosion Injuries
Burn injuries immediately come to mind as a result of an explosion, and it's true that serious burns can occur, but an explosion causes other dangerous and life-threatening medical consequences as well. Pressure from an explosion can damage a worker's ears, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Flying debris can cause lacerations, internal bleeding, and head trauma, among other damages. Workers are often also knocked over by the force of the blast, and are thrown against each other, industrial machinery, or other objects.
Explosions may not be the most common cause of injuries in the workplace, but they occur regularly and can lead to devastating injuries or death for workers in many fields. If you or a loved one has been injured in an explosion at work, you may have grounds to seek out compensation. Our workplace injury attorneys have aided workers from a wide array of career fields, and we stand ready to review your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation.