No matter the safety features employed at a facility, there is likely little that can protect Illinois workers from an unexpected explosion. Five men working at an out-of-state dam were seriously injured on the job when an electrical explosion went off. The incident has since been blamed on an electrical failure.
According to Priest Rapids Dam, the electrical failure involved one of the generators on which the dam relied. The issue was narrowed down to the generator’s breaker, which is the switch that turns the electrical component on and off. Following its malfunction, a surge of electricity was released, sparking the explosion. An investigation from the local labor department as well as law enforcement was launched into the devastating accident. Workplace injuries do not typically involve local law enforcement, but due to the dam’s local importance to the community, police did investigate to make sure that there had been no criminal activity that might have led to the explosion.
All five of the dam workers had to be transported to the hospital, where they received treatment for their injuries. While all of the men suffered burns in the incident, their conditions widely varied, with three being listed as satisfactory and the other two as critical. The latter had to be taken to the intensive care unit in order to receive the necessary care.
Being injured on the job can range in severity from a worker who threw out his back to an industrial employee who lost her ability to walk. Workers’ compensation is meant to help all of Illinois’ injured employees, and not just those who suffered catastrophic damages. With steady workers’ compensation payments, injured employees can more readily focus on recovery with the peace of mind that help is available for their related financial burdens.
Source: tri-cityherald.com, “2 workers critical after Priest Rapids Dam explosion“, Annette Cary, Oct. 9, 2015