Chemical explosion injures several workers in New Jersey

The Bureau of Fire and Safety is investigating the cause of a chemical explosion which seriously injured at least six workers working at the U.S. Ink factory in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Reports indicate that firefighters who responded to the scene of the explosion found six burn victims. The explosion occurred when employees were working with a chemical used to manufacture newspaper ink. Two were transported to a hospital from the scene and it was expected that ultimately all six would be hospitalized. The injured were covered in a black powdery substance as a result of the explosion and had to be decontaminated. Even though none of the firefighters were exposed to the chemical, as a precautionary measure, contractor decontaminated the gear belonging to several firefighters.

Exposure to various potentially toxic chemical substances can occur at work, which can result in serious acute, chronic and potentially life threatening diseases and illness to employees. As the case above illustrates, in addition to their burn injuries, the workers covered in the black powdery substance, may have inhaled the black powder. The investigation is ongoing and it is unclear what ingredients the powder contained, but inhalation of the substance could potentially lead to respiratory illness or other ailments for the six workers.

For anyone seriously injured in a workplace incident such as the one above, the first priority should be to seek medical attention. Furthermore, even though collecting evidence to prove an injury from chemical exposure may not be the first thing on one’s mind, it is important early on for one to keep an accurate record of what happened, what medical treatment was received, the findings of the doctors and more. In fact, it may be necessary to seek expertise in area of occupational injuries and illness, get a second medical opinion and to know one’s rights.

Each case is different, but the manufacturer and supplier of the product, in addition to the employer, may be held responsible in a case such as this. An injured worker’s future ability to work and overall health may be impacted by an incident as the one above and the worker may be entitled to just compensation for their injuries, lost wages, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and more.

Source: NJ.com, “Explosion at East Rutherford factory injures six workers,” Myles Ma, Oct 9, 2012

Posted in: Wrongful Death