November 3, 2009

Two Illinois Gas Plant Workers Injured in Fiery Blast

In Illinois, two gas plant workers were injured at a St. Elmo gas plant last Wednesday when a fire broke out. The Natural Gas Pipeline Company believes the fire started while welding was taking place on a ground storage tank that was holding natural gas. Witnesses say a number of blasts occurred as a result of the fire.

The two workers who got hurt were the ones engaged in the welding work. Investigators say the 10,000 gallon tank was supposed to only contain oil and waste water. They are trying to determine where a mistake was made.

Working with natural gas can be dangerous. Work injuries can occur during fires, chemical spills, fall accidents, refinery blasts, machinery accidents, while toxic gas is being released, or during other kinds of work accidents.

Burns, broken bones, internal injuries, disfigurement, severed limbs, crushed body parts, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries are just some of the injuries that can result from a work accident at a gas plant.

Most workers are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits in the event that they are seriously injured and need to take time off. There also may be third parties that the worker can sue for Illinois personal injury. With so many factors possibly involved in causing a gas plant accident, a construction accident, or another kind of industrial accident that it can be hard to determine who is liable without consulting with a Chicago injury lawyer about your case.

Natural Gas Tank Explosion In St. Elmo, Illinois, Fox2Now, October 28, 2009

Fiery explosion injures 2 gas plant workers, Justice News Flash, November 3, 2009


Related Web Resources:
US Department of Labor

OSHA

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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August 26, 2009

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits Awarded to Mechanic Who Sustained Burn Injuries that Developed Staph Infection

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has awarded workers’ compensation benefits to a mechanic who sustained burn injuries during a work accident. The worker, who was a diabetic, sustained burn injuries to both arms and his abdomen while on the job.

Over six months after the work accident, the mechanic developed a staph infection in his elbow. His infection was treated with antibiotics and he was admitted to the hospital.

The worker claimed that there was a causal connection between his work accident and his staph infection. The doctor of his employer denied that there was a relationship between the two. The physician, however, did acknowledge that because the mechanic had diabetes, he was more likely to sustain a staph infection.

The IWCC adopted the findings of the arbitrator that the Illinois work accident might have or could have been a cause of the staph infection. The commission said that just because the staph infection occurred over six months after the work accident doesn’t mean the two aren’t linked—especially when the worker had open wounds and was suffering from a condition that increased the chances that a staph infection might arise.

Staph Infections
This type of bacteria can be harmless, unless it enters the body, such as through a wound or broken skin. While many types of staph infections are easily treatable, they can prove harmful should the bacteria enter the bloodstream. The heart, lungs, bones, blood, central nervous system, and other parts of the body may become infected.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Illinois law requires employers to provide employees with injury benefits. This should, ideally, be a done deal anytime that a worker is injured while doing their job. Unfortunately, incidents will arise when an employer and/or the insurer might try to get out of paying these benefits.

It’s hard enough getting hurt and having to take time off from work so you can deal with recovering without having to worry about how you are going to pay for your medical costs and living expenses, as well as support your family.

There are ways to fight for your right to receive all of the work injury benefits that you are owed.

Mechanic links staph infection to work injury despite diabetes, Risk and Insurance, August 20, 2009

Staff Infections, Mayo Clinic

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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June 9, 2009

Slim Jim Plant Blast Injures Over 30 People

A blast at a Slim Jim meat products plant today injured at least 38 people. As of this report, 2 others are missing. 5 of the injured parties—including three firefighters—are in serious condition. 4 of these critically injured patients have burns in 40 – 60% of their bodies.

The majority of the other injured parties were treated and released. One man, who sustained burns on his arms, head, and legs said that his clothes had to be cut off him. Smoke inhalation and exposure to ammonia—a toxic cloud was floating around the plant after the explosion—are among the other injury concerns.

Authorities are still trying to locate the remaining missing people. A third person that was missing has been found and was taken to a hospital.

Some 300 people were in the plant when the blast occurred, causing parts of the roof to collapse. At this time, the cause of the blast is not known.

The Slim Jim plant is a ConAgra Foods plant. The state had inspected the plant last July and there were no reports of violations—although there have been reported violations in the past.

Ammonia
Commonly used as a refrigerant in food processing plants, including meatpacking plants, ammonia gas can prove dangerous to workers’ health. Ammonia can burn the eyes and skin. During an ammonia leak, an ammonia cloud can cause swelling and burning to occur to the lung, nose, and throat passages. Exposure to serious ammonia leaks can lead to pulmonary edema, permanent eye or lung problems, or infectious diseases. Regular exposure to ammonia over a long period of time can lead to excess mucus or bronchitis.

If you are a worker who sustained burn injuries or ammonia-related injuries or any other type of injuries in a work-related explosion, you need to report your injuries as soon as possible so you can start receiving your Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. In the event that a dispute over benefits arises, you should consider exploring your legal options.

3 critical, 2 missing after Slim Jim plant explosion, CNN, June 9, 2009

Four critically burned in Slim Jim plant explosion, roof collapse, WRAL, June 9, 2009

Ammonia, UCFW

Related Web Resources:
ConAgra Foods

Meatpacking Industry, OSHA

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June 3, 2009

Chicago Work Accident: Propane Gas Blast Injures Restaurant Workers

Four people were transported to the hospital this morning following a propane gas blast at Cyrano’s Café, which is located at the Chicago Riverwalk. The blast occurred at around 9am while cooks were getting the kitchen ready.

Because of a minor gas leak, the propane tank had been repaired the day before. AmeriGas, which conducted the initial installation, says that the tank had passed a leak test.

A deckhand who works at Chicago’s First Lady boat tours, 24-year-old Jessica Herum, was working nearby and ran to the restaurant to extinguish the blast using a dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Of the four people taken to a hospital following the blast, one person was in serious-to-critical condition, two people were in fair-to-serious condition, and one person was in good condition. Two of the people injured in the blast were cooks that worked for the restaurant. Four other people that sustained minor injuries refused treatment. Later in the afternoon, the Chicago Fire Department cited the cafe with several code violations.

Propane Gas Injuries
Propane is a highly flammable gas. Injuries from a propane gas blast can be life-threatening and may include severe burns, limb loss, and death. Common causes of propane gas blasts can include:

• Leaking gas tanks
• Improper maintenance
• The tank of propane is over-pressurized
• The gas control valves are defective

Work injuries are generally covered under Illinois workers’ compensation law, which means that you are likely entitled to benefits if you were involved in a propane gas blast while on the job. If the gas company or another party acted negligently and contributed to causing your work accident, you also may be entitled to third party personal injury compensation.

Riverwalk restaurant cited in propane explosion, Chicago Breaking News, June 3, 2009

Propane, CCOHS


Related Web Resources:
Propane 101

Chicago Riverwalk

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June 2, 2009

Two Workers Hurt in Electrical Accidents Sustain Burn Injuries

A worker is in the hospital after he was injured in an electrical accident on Tuesday afternoon. Brian Arnold was testing an electrical line when his tools made a flash burn happened. He sustained second-degree burns from the work accident. According to a supervisor, Arnold was wearing the required goggles, helmet, gloves, and uniform and that this likely minimized his injuries.

In another electrical accident that occurred last week, a 38-year-old construction worker sustained burn injuries on his feet and hands when the crane he was operating came into contact with a live electrical line. The electrical shock threw the worker into a pool of water. Paramedics had to wait until the power was turned off before they were able to retrieve him.

Electrical Power Line Accidents
Electrical power lines can be a cause of work injuries in the event that a worker comes into contact with a live power line. Crane operators, painters, and construction workers are just a few of the groups at risk of getting really hurt in an electrical power line accident. In certain instances, the use of certain tools around power lines, such as metal ladders, scaffolds, backhoes, cranes, aluminum paint holders, and concrete pumpers, can increase the chances of an electrical accident happening on the job.

In the event that you are injured in an Illinois work accident, you need to let your employer know immediately so that you can receive your workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible.

In an ideal world, obtaining workers’ compensation should be an instant, automatic process. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. However, Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Steven J. Malman can make sure that you receive all the work injury benefits that you are entitled to receive.

Man Suffers Burns After Industrial Accident In Lebanon, WCPO.com, June 2, 2009

Construction worker in hospital due to electrical accident, 680 News, May 25, 2009


Related Web Resources:
How to Prevent Electrical Accidents

Electrical Accidents, CDC


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February 24, 2009

East Chicago Steel Plant Explosion Injures Three Workers

Three workers were injured earlier this month when an explosion occurred at an East Chicago steel plant. The workers, 36-year-old Tracy Sandoval, 41-year-old James Broviak, and 55-year-old Jeff Schnebel, were at a blast furnace slag pit when the work accident happened. All three workers are subcontractors.

Sandoval sustained a serious head injury, and Schnebel, who sustained third-degree burns, is being treated at the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Burn Unit. Broviak sustained minor injuries. Local police say the explosion occurred when a large quantity of slag was placed in the water.

Working at a steel plant can be a dangerous job. Employees are dealing with heavy machinery and certain hazardous materials. This is why it is so important that the proper safety procedures are implemented and workers are properly trained, supervised, and equipped with the correct gear. Also, all equipment and machinery at the work site must be properly maintained and operated safely and correctly.

Injuries sustained in a machinery accident or a steel plant blast can result in catastrophic injuries for the workers involved. The worker may need weeks or longer to recover and there is a possibility that he or she may never be able to work again.

You must take the proper steps to make sure that you receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits you are owed. Retaining the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can ensure that you are paid on time and that any disputes with your employer’s insurer are successfully dealt with by someone who is advocating on your behalf. Your lawyer can also determine if any liable third parties should be sued for personal injury.

Slag explosion injures three at ArcelorMittal mill in East Chicago, Post-Tribune, February 17, 2009

Accident at East Chicago steel plant under investigation, NWI.com, February 16, 2009

Two workers still hospitalized after explosion at ArcelorMittal steel mill in East Chicago, Post-Tribune, February 19, 2009


Related Web Resource:
Industrial Accidents, Chicago Tribune

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February 5, 2009

Burn Accident Injures Welder

A welder sustained serious second- and third-degree burn injuries during a work accident. According to fire officials, James Sellers’s clothes caught on fire while he was working on the scaffolding on the third floor of a fine arts center.

Coworkers used a blanket to put out the flames and emergency workers moved Sellers to the construction office so he would not have to stay in the cold and wind. The injured worker was transported to a hospital before being transferred to a burn center for treatments of the burns he sustained on his chest, arms, and back.

If you sustained your burn injuries in a work accident in Lake County, DuPage County, Will County,or Cook County, or any other county in Illinois, you may be entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

Second-Degree Burns
This kind of burn affects the epidermis and the dermis of the skin and can result in swelling, pain, redness, and blisters. A second-degree burn must be treated properly or it could become a third-degree burn.

Third-Degree Burns
This kind of burn injury affects the dermis, the epidermis, and the hypodermis and can numb the area of the injury even as the victim experiences pain. A third-degree burn can often leave severe scars.

Signs that your burn injury may be a second-degree or third-degree burn:
• Swelling
• Peeling
• Redness
• Charred skin
• White skin
• Shock

Depending on the severity of the burn injury, the burn victim may have to undergo multiple and painful medical procedures to recover. These procedures can be very expensive and another reason that you should receive all of the Illinois workers’ compensation benefits you are owed, as well as any third party personal injury compensation.

Welder is Seriously Burned in Accident, Charleston.com, February 5, 2009

Types of Burns, Burn Survivor Resource Center


Related Web Resource:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (PDF)

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