Even in what can be thought of as a relatively work safe environment, an industrial accident can occur within a blink of an eye. Sadly, the workers at an Illinois manufacturing company, Arens Controls, became painfully aware of this fact. Though the Occupational Health and Safety Association has never cited the company for any safety violations, an industrial accident still occurred, which killed one man and injured 10 other workers.
The accident happened late last month in a city near Lake County. The company, which designs parts for hybrid cars, was testing a product in a metal cage designed to protect workers in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, the equipment being tested exploded. While the metal cage protected the rest of the facility from being impacted by the explosion, the workers near the blast were tragically caught in the inferno, which followed by heavy smoke.
When firefighters came to the scene, the fire was gone, but the smoke remained. To compound the problems, the smoke was believed to contain potassium hydroxide, which can cause respiratory distress. Numerous people sustained concussion-like injuries from the blast and were taken to a local hospital. Another man was found without a pulse near the site of the explosion, so responders pronounced him dead at the scene of the accident.
For many Illinois workers and their families, this has come as a big shock. Even in the industry, nobody expects to be the victim of an explosion. As OSHA continues to investigate this industrial accident, it is hoped that they might find answers in this devastating incident so as this kind of accident can be avoided in the future. For the families and workers who have already been affected, they should be comforted that workers’ compensation may help them through this difficult time.
Source: Journal Online, “Arlington Hts. Explosion: What Went Wrong?” Tim O’Connor, May 22, 2012