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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety regulations for all the different types of industries, and while each has unique hazards to address, some general rules cover all. One of those is the need for companies to provide the necessary safety training — especially to new employees. Too many catastrophic injuries are suffered within a few days or weeks of people starting new jobs. A recent chemical plant explosion in Texas underscores this concern.

Reportedly, a worker who started working at a chemical plant only three weeks ago was unaware of the danger of causing sparks. Investigators say the man’s dragging of his foot in an area where the mixing of chemicals took place caused static, and sparks caused a fire that engulfed the worker’s upper body. They say he suffered severe burn injuries, and he was flown to a hospital in critical condition.

Two explosions followed, and firefighters were withdrawn from the area for fears of more explosions. Billowing smoke caused the Texas Department of Public Safety to close roads in the area, and surrounding premises were evacuated. A worker at a neighboring business reported that objects were blown through the roof when the explosions took place.

Catastrophic injuries such as severe burns can be life-changing and typically require long-term care. Skin grafts might be necessary, and extended periods in a hospital will likely keep this worker away from work for a long time. In the meantime, there will be mounting medical bills and no income. Fortunately, the Texas workers’ compensation insurance system offers benefits that to address those costs, and with the help of experienced legal counsel, additional compensation might be obtained.

Source: thinkprogress.org, “Texas chemical plant explosion results in multiple injuries“, Kyla Mandel, March 15, 2018