Attorney Esequiel Solorio is a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law as certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Explosions more common on worksites than many people realize

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2017 | Workplace Accidents

While the government has made efforts to reduce workplace injuries, they still occur at an alarming rate. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 2.9 million workplace injuries occurred in the country in 2015 alone. These injuries have a variety of explanations, and one of the most overlooked is explosions.

Explosions seem rare, but many industrial and commercial properties have dealt with them in the past. Naturally, these incidents have the potential to become disastrous and injure a lot of people all at once. There are several ways an explosion can take place, so become aware of them as well as how to prevent them. 

Faulty machinery

All equipment requires routine maintenance. There are numerous moving components in these machines, so they need adequate care. Additionally, machinery requires proper storage. An excessive amount of heat can build up, leading to a spark and an occasional explosion. Take time once every few months to care for any company equipment. 

Hot work

Hot work refers to instances of torch cutting or welding. Employees need to wear proper safety gear, but they also need to be aware that a single spark can travel over 30 feet. Additionally, these sparks can exceed 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure nothing flammable is in the vicinity when hot work takes place.

Combustible dust

Employees often overlook the impact of dust. It is a common aspect for businesses in the metalworking, chemical manufacturing and woodworking industries. Not only is this dust flammable, but it also has the potential to cause a lot more damage than a typical explosion. Dust particles can enter the air, causing secondary and tertiary explosions to occur after the initial one. Make sure dust is regularly cleaned up from a work site.

Electrical hazards

Finally, employers should ensure a job site is up to code. Companies can avoid electrical problems by not leaving equipment plugged in overnight. Additionally, employers should avoid overloading a building’s electrical system.