Each week it seems another workplace explosion occurs somewhere in the U.S. Why? Is the frequency of these accidents increasing? Or is mainstream media finally paying due attention to the problem of dangerous work environments?
Recently, in Delevan, New York, an asphalt plant explosion left a 53-year-old worker with serious injuries. According to a report, the man was shutting down operations at the plant when the explosion occurred. The blast appears to have been ignited inside a conveyor belt, and damage to the plant was said to be significant.
The injured worker was flown to a hospital in Buffalo to be treated for serious burn injuries on the upper part of his body. Such injuries are extremely painful, and extensive medical care is often necessary.
The plant is operated by Gernatt Asphalt Products, which runs numerous other facilities in New York and Pennsylvania.
An investigation into this latest explosion is undoubtedly underway, and it remains to be seen whether or not the employer was in violation of any safety regulations.
Employers have an obligation to provide proper training and tools to workers, and when a company fails in this regard, too often employees pay the price.
Workers who have been injured on the job should be aware of their options for obtaining the full measure of workers' compensation benefits. An initial offer from an insurance company or employer may not be sufficient to the worker's needs in the wake of an accident.
New York residents with questions about workers' compensation are encouraged to visit our Poughkeepsie workplace accident site.
Source: philly.com, "1 worker hurt in blast at western NY asphalt plant," Aug. 16, 2013