Workplace accidents can occur at any location of employment. The number of workers that are injured will depend on the severity of the accident, as well as the type of workplace. A recent industrial accident is making news across the country and has many Maryland residents worried.
On Jan. 20, 2014, there were reports of both a fire as well as an explosion at an industrial plant that makes nutritional, medicated and specialty foods for a variety of animals, including livestock. This type of industry is considered a very high hazard environment. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the accumulation of grain dust, which is known to result in hazardous explosions and dangerous fires, according to OSHA.
When this tragic industrial accident occurred, it was said that roughly 38 individuals were within the building. It is believed that all plant workers have been successfully located. Firefighters were able to pull five individuals to safety, although one of them needed to be cut from a combination of steel and concrete. Nearby hospitals received 10 individuals for treatment after the explosion. Six of those 10 workers had non-fatal injuries while the other four were indeed hospitalized.
At this time, the explosion is under investigation. It is not clear what caused the fire, explosion and collapse of the building. OSHA is also likely to conduct their own investigation to determine the cause of the industrial accident and ensure that the plant met all safety requirements. If it is found that an equipment failure was to blame, injured employees may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the equipment, as would Maryland residents in the same situation. Employees can only pursue legal action against involved third parties and not the employer itself.
Source: wfsb.com, 2 dead in Omaha industrial accident, No author, Jan. 20, 2014