When working with dangerous materials, it's the responsibility of a company to make sure that their employees are safe and that the conditions they're working with are equally as safe. Wisconsin factory workers might be surprised, however, to hear that some factories, even after multiple work injuries and fatalities, have done little or nothing to help keep their employees safe.
This may have been the case when workers at a metal powder plant in Tennessee informed investigators that were at times using gloved hands to extinguish flames that appeared to be a regular occurrence. In all, fires like these have resulted in the death of five workers, each of which left behind a wife and children, and for one man, a grandchild born a day before an explosion caused fatal burns.
In one case, exposed electrical wires sparked and turned a cloud of dust in a ball of fire that left one employee with burns over 95 percent of his body. According to reports, fires like these have killed close to 130 workers and injured another 800. When it comes to dealing with important workplace safety issues like combustible dust and dangerous materials like these, OSHA said that it focuses on broader general rules and guidelines designed with the safety of all in mind.
These work injuries and deaths have a huge impact, not just on a family in the case of the fires at the metal powder plant, but also on the small community where the factory is located. Wisconsin factory employees and their families carry the constant worry of losing a loved one who works in a dangerous environment. And when companies and factories ignore workplace safety and endanger the wellbeing of their employees, it makes an already dangerous job more dangerous still. In such instances, workers can pursue compensation for their injuries and lost wages.
Source: iWatch News, "Unchecked dust explosions kill, injure hundreds of workers," Chris Hamby, May 29, 2012