Two people died and a third was injured after an explosion at a recycling business in Granite City, Illinois. As reported by Fox News (8.25.14), a mortar blew up outside of a building at Totall Metal Recycling.
According to the report, Totall Metal recycled ammunition and military devices, in addition to other items. Those items were supposed to arrive at the facility once they were “inert, or safe.”
Apparently, it was standard practice for the plant to recycle inactive mortar rounds. Given the growing demand for recycling, the number of these plants is increasing, as is the need for workers. However, growth must include the correct implementation of safety policies and procedures.
Too many people are seriously injured or even killed while on the job. This industrial accident is a reminder about workplace safety and workers’ right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent employees from being seriously injured or killed in their place of work. The law requires employers to provide their workers with working conditions that are free of known dangers.
If a workplace accident occurs in New York, the immediate family of workers who are killed is entitled to collect workers’ compensation death benefits. Injured workers are entitled to cash benefits and-or medical care. The amount of cash benefits that a worker receives is based on his or her average weekly wage for the previous year. Injured workers will also receive necessary medical care directly related to the injury that was suffered because of their job, as well as the recovery from the disability.
If the worker dies from a compensable injury, his or her surviving spouse and-or minor children are entitled to weekly cash benefits. If a worker has neither spouse nor children, the money will go to other dependents as defined by law. The amount is equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage for the year before the accident.
Workers’ compensation is paid to injured workers or their family regardless of fault. However, even though benefits are mandated by law, many initial claims are not approved because they are not properly filed or filed on time. Unfortunately, too, some workers’ compensation insurance companies will try to limit an injured employee’s medical treatment and income benefit. A workers’ comp lawyer can advocate on a workers’ behalf to ensure that a worker receives the workers’ compensation benefits he or she is entitled to.
The FOX News report cited is “Two killed, one injured in Granite City recycling plant explosion.”