When people hear about a chemical plant accident, the major stories they expect to read about are burn injuries, chemical poisoning, or toxic exposure. While these types of injuries are unfortunately common in chemical plant explosions and accidents, there is more to the picture. Two of the most dangerous physical injuries that can occur in chemical plant accidents are crushing injuries and amputations or severed limbs.
Though the government continues to pass more laws to improve the safety of the workplace, there is still a long way to go for most chemical plants to be deemed "safe." Plant explosions and fires seem to happen once a week on the news, leaving friends and families of all plant workers worried for the next headline. There have been several major accidents in the news for just 2014—and its only February. From chemical spills in West Virginia to large plant explosions in Nebraska, these industrial accidents have caused a variety of injuries.
Danger of Injuries in Plant Accidents
Chemical plant accidents vary in severity, some involving explosions while others involve toxic exposure. In most cases, injuries sustained in these types of accidents are life-altering. A crush injury could mean anything from a damaged finger or toe to the entire body being compressed under fallen debris. When accidents or explosions occur in plants, typically structural damage will follow. In some cases, workers are trapped under heavy, sharp, or hot debris for hours, waiting for recovery teams to scour through the damaged plant. Even just a few seconds under a large piece of metal could result in nerve damage, disfigurement, or worse.
Other results of crush injuries include damage to:
- Blood Vessels
- Soft Tissues
Psychological trauma can also affect a victim, making it difficult for them to return to work or resume everyday activities. Extreme cases can even result in loss of sensation in the crushed part or even paralysis. If cell death occurs, an injured worker may be forced to amputate the injured body part. This can cause serious difficulties and require major adjustments for the rest of the injured worker's life. Amputation can also occur immediately during a chemical plant accident; if an explosion causes equipment or pieces of metal to fly in the area, a worker may have a limb or body part severed. In addition to the medical complications and intense pain, these traumatic injuries will involve serious emotional and mental challenges for the injured worker and their loved ones.
Preventing Chemical Plant Accident Injuries
Though it seems like the number of chemical plant accidents increases every year, OSHA and other workplace organizations are striving to improve overall security and safety conditions for plant workers. The major cause of chemical plant accidents include human error, lack of training, manufacturing defects, and improper maintenance. If equipment is not properly used or hasn't been thoroughly inspected, it may put hundreds of workers' lives on the line. By improving the previously mentioned areas, chemical plants can cut down on major accidents which often lead to burn, crush, and amputation injuries. Arnold & Itkin is passionate about providing the protection our nation's workers deserve. Our firm has represented injured victims all over the state of Texas and throughout states like Mississippi and Louisiana.
If you have suffered any type of injury in a chemical plant accident, it is crucial that you seek the proper medical and legal care. Contact us today.