Most people in Tennessee just want a safe and secure working environment, but every year workers across the state end up in the hospital because of work-related accidents. A recent explosion at a chemical plant that handles sensitive gases and liquids resulted in the hospitalization of eight injured workers. The resulting conditions at the plant were so severe that one of the responding firefighters was also hospitalized with symptoms related to heat exhaustion.
Emergency responders were called to the chemical plant shortly after the 4:00 p.m. explosion. Initially, only one worker was discovered to have suffered any injuries, although it was later reported that eight individuals were transported to the hospital for treatment. Surrounding areas -- including a high school and elementary school -- were also affected and had to implement safety measures to avoid potential harm to students.
A mechanical failure was blamed for the explosion, but it is not yet clear what actions might have contributed to that failure. However, inadequate safety measures can sometimes be a problem. Five workers were injured in a separate incident approximately a week prior to the explosion, in which a flammable gas caused chemical burns that required treatment.
Tennessee's Occupational and Health Safety Administration is currently investigating both incidents. However, most injured workers do not realize that they can seek compensation before the conclusion of an OSHA investigation. Making a workers' compensation claim in a timely manner can help ensure adequate payment for a victim's medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses.
Source: wjhl.com, "8 hospitalized in east Tennessee chemical explosion", Sept. 8, 2017