Industrial Accident Lawyers Huntsville and Decatur AL
Negligence is one of the main causes of all Huntsville industrial accidents. Explosions, fires, forklift accidents and chemical release accidents are all preventable events. Employers and subcontractors are required to keep their workplaces safe for workers and other subcontractors on their premises or in their work area. When Alabama industries fail to meet that responsibility, employees and subcontractors get seriously injured or killed in an industrial accident. Their medical expenses can be in the millions of dollars. We fight for the rights of all injured workers in Alabama.The injuries or deaths from these accidents are usually due to negligent acts and omissions of the premises owner and contractors, as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations. Often times, the industries have a history of OSHA violations or a reputation of being a dangerous place to work. Plant explosions, chemical releases and fires are extremely dangerous and often deadly. Some workplaces in Alabama are much more dangerous than others. Employers are required to provide training and equipment, and establish procedures to help keep workers and subcontractors safe. Unfortunately, many companies provide poor training or no training at all. When that happens, workers are injured as result of negligence, and they call us to level the playing field.If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in an explosion accident or been exposed to dangerous chemicals, a refinery and chemical plant explosion lawyer from our Alabama firm can help. Call 256-534-3435.
Types of Alabama Industrial Accidents
In 2018, there were 5,250 workers killed on the job in the U.S., according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That’s more than 100 deaths per week, or a 14 workers killed per day. Roughly one in five of these deaths occurs in the construction industry. Employees can be hurt in industrial accidents in a number of different ways. For example, they can be injured by fork lifts, falling objects, explosions and even slip and falls. Our firm handles all types of Decatur and Huntsville industrial accidents, including:
- Warehouse Accidents: Companies like Target, Walmart and Amazon keep their products in large warehouses. Trucks unload onto loading docks and into the warehouses daily. Theses jobs involve heavy lifting and the use of heavy equipment, such as cranes, pallet jacks and forklifts. Workers can be hurt by falling merchandise, slip and fall accidents or by lifting items.
- Factory Accidents: Alabama factories produce a lot of different products using an assembly line process. In Huntsville and Decatur we produce cars, trucks and thousands of other manufacturing and high tech products. Injuries seen among Alabama factory workers include broken bones, pulled muscles, loss of limbs, burns, hearing or vision loss and death.
- Mining Accidents: Thousands of Alabama workers work in the mining industry. When mining companies are negligent, people can be injured by tunnel collapses, flooding, equipment malfunction, explosions and exposure to poison gas. Injuries suffered by miners include broken bones, burns, respiratory problems, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and death.
- Carbon monoxide
- Benzene gas
- Fiberglass fibers
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Welding fumes
- Silica dust
- Chemical Plant Accidents: Decatur has a number of chemical plants. In the last few years a number of workers have been exposed to chemicals at Daikin that have lead to life long injuries or their death. Carelessness during chemical plant equipment maintenance or facility upgrades can lead to leaks of toxic gases that result in fires or chemical burns. Additionally, when oil and gas companies skimp on employee training, workers can mishandle equipment and combustible materials, leading to disaster. When you work around hazardous chemicals, you can suffer seizures, skin disorders, respiratory problems and death. Not all chemicals are inherently dangerous, particularly when they are handled in a safe and thoughtful manner. However, if a chemical poses a clear physical or health hazard to human beings, OSHA requires that businesses post appropriate warning labels and provide their employees with the right equipment to protect themselves from harm. Toxic chemicals can occur in solid, liquid, or gas form, and it may not always be readily apparent that you’ve suffered from chemical exposure at first. Workers in certain industrial and manufacturing fields face higher risks of toxic exposure than others, especially oil and gas workers, construction site workers, and miners – but chemical exposure can happen in any occupation. Chemical plants and oil refineries are among the most dangerous job sites in the nation. Slack safety policies, outdated equipment, and meager training programs result in thousands of worker injuries and deaths every year. Explosions, chemical fume leaks and fires are tragically common. Even more disturbing, they are often preventable. Many Alabama chemical plant accidents are caused by:
- Failure to implement safety protocols
- Failure to inspect equipment regularly
- Faulty equipment
- Improper employee training
- Outdated machinery
- Overheated equipment
- Unsafe chemical storage systems
- Company negligence
- Defective equipment
- Faulty storage protocols
- Faulty supervision
- Inadequate worker training
- Irregular job site safety inspections
- OHSA violations
- Poor equipment maintenance
Common Injuries Caused by Chemical Exposure include:
- Eye irritation/chronic dry eyes
- Eye injuries
- Chronic migraines
- Nausea and vomiting
- Internal organ damage
- First, second and third-degree burns
- Chemical burns
- Explosion injuires
- Respiratory damage/COPD
When you’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace – whether by inhaling them or absorbing them through the skin – you may sustain serious and life threatening injuries. Unfortunately, a 2018 UN report uncovered that every 30 seconds, at least one worker around the world dies of toxic chemical exposure. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also reported that over 32 million U.S. workers are exposed to one or more chemical hazards annually.From painful chemical burns to toxic fume inhalation, there are dozens of different ways that you can become seriously hurt because a company failed to consider your safety on the job. At Ferguson & Ferguson our Decatur and Huntsville chemical exposure attorneys are committed to fighting on your behalf and seeking the fair compensation you deserve after a workplace injury.
- Pipeline and Plant Explosion Accidents: Chemical plants are inherently dangerous job sites, dealing with toxic, highly flammable materials on a daily basis. Proper worker training, strict equipment maintenance and aggressive safety policies are critical to keeping workers safe from toxic chemical burns, gas inhalation, gas fires and propane explosions.Pipelines can be dangerous. Chemical plant and refinery explosions can often be traced back to a greater focus on profits than on safetey. Most explosions are caused by maintenance issues, regulatory violations, safety management failures and manufacturing defects. If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a refinery, oilfield or pipeline explosion, the damages can be catastrophic. Plant explosions may be caused by:
- Electrical equipment malfunction
- Failure to inspect equipment for combustible gas leaks
- Faulty boiler maintenance
- Improper worker safety training
- Use of improper chemical quantities
- Use of impure chemicals
- Use of substandard raw materials / coal dust
Common injuries caused by plant explosions include:
- Bone fractures
- Chemical burns and scarring
- Loss of limbs
- Lung damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe burns
- Shrapnel laceration
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic head injury / brain damage
- Vision loss / hearing loss
- Refinery Accidents: Oil refinery accidents involving coking units, pumps, desalters, treatment and storage tanks, boilers, alkylation units, heaters, and pipelines also cause severe injuries to refinery workers. Many refinery owners try to save money by continuing to use defective, outdated equipment – a leading cause of all refinery accidents. Common causes of oil refinery accidents include:
- Deficient daily facility inspections
- Equipment corrosion / sulfidation
- Equipment cracking and stress corrosion
- Failure to conduct regular emergency drills
- Failure to follow OSHA safety regulations
- High-temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA) equipment damage
- Improper chemical storage
- Improper equipment repair or replacement
- Inadequate safety protocols
- Incomplete refinery worker training
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Use of contaminated, impure materials.
- Forklift Accidents: Forklift injury lawsuits can result from a number of different industrial accidents and construction accidents. Common causes of forklift accidents include:
- Failing/overbalanced loads
- Excessive speeds
- Inattentive driving or backing up
- Poor forklift maintenance
- Improper employee training
- OSHA violations
- Poor housekeeping
- Allowing unsafe workplace conditions
What Compensation Can Injured Industrial and Chemical Plant Workers in Alabama Collect?
Industrial plant injuries can incapacitate a worker for weeks to years, if they are lucky enough to survive at all. Without the ability to earn income, injured workers face current and future medical bills (often over $1,000,000), and extensive rehabilitation. Workers compensation usually only covers medical expenses and lost wages. A third party lawsuit can achieve full financial recovery, including financial compensation for the following:
- Past, current and future medical expenses
- Lost past and future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Long term care
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement / impairment
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Wrongful death
- Loss of consortium
How to Prevent Industrial Accidents in Alabama
At industrial sites, it’s important for both employees and employers to take steps that will help prevent accidents and injuries. Some of the steps that may prevent industrial accidents include:
- Safety training. When employees are properly trained, they can avoid taking improper actions that may lead to themselves or others getting injured. Unfortunately, not all employers make sure that workers are properly trained and certified.
- Maintenance of equipment and machinery. Equipment, machinery, and vehicles that are not properly maintained can break down or experience catastrophic failures that lead to accidents. It’s important for employers and managers to make sure that all equipment is in proper working order to help prevent industrial injuries.
- Incentives and discipline. Some workers may intentionally ignore safety regulations or workplace rules. Employers should always take swift action to correct their behavior. Managers and employers can also watch for rule-conscious employees and reward their behavior to encourage them and others to be meticulous about following regulations in the future.
- Following governmental regulations. The government and organizations such as OSHA set strict guidelines for workplaces that are meant to prevent workplace accidents and injuries. OSHA requires generally employers to provide their employees with a safe workplace. OSHA has very detailed regulations that lay out specific requirements for employers. Here are some example of OSHA rules that protect employees from workplace injury.
- Workers must receive adequate training to do their job safety.
- Workers must receive the proper safety equipment to protect them on the job.
- Employers must provide workers with adequate fall protection measures.
- You must be protected from toxic chemicals in the workplace.
- Communication. When employers, managers, and workers communicate with each other, it helps everyone prevent industrial accidents.
- Encourage employees to take breaks. Workers that are well-rested are less likely to make careless errors that can cause harm. Breaks and reasonable work schedules keep employees awake and alert.
- Wear proper protective equipment at all times. Inadequate or compromised personal protective equipment should be replaced.
- Double-check to make sure all materials are stored safely and securely.
- Keep workplaces clean and uncluttered.
- Have proper signage to warn workers of dangers.
Safety Guidelines for Industrial Buildings
Specific guidelines for industrial workplace signs are outlined in ANSI Z535 Safety Alerting Standards. The three most common categories for safety signs are:
- Requirements for equipment maintenance. Maintenance of equipment and machinery must be performed regularly and precisely. Each piece of equipment should have labels or signage that outlines the steps for proper maintenance and how often this maintenance should be performed. When employers and managers don’t make sure that these guidelines are adhered to, workers can end up suffering from the consequences.
- Operating instructions. Equipment should also have clear instructions posted that outline how to properly use the equipment. It’s important for employers to make sure that these instructions are readily available, and employees need to make sure that they follow these guidelines.
- Risk avoidance. These signs include caution signs, fire exit signs, and other signage that are meant to help workers avoid dangers so that they can avoid getting injured.
Why Hire Ferguson & Ferguson
If you or a loved one has suffered from a work injury at an industrial sitein Alabama, contact the attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson. We have years of experience litigating industrial injury cases in Decatur and Huntsville, Alabama and getting injured workers the compensation they deserve.Workers’ compensation insurance covers the injury if no other parties are involved. If a third party is involved, you can puruse both companies for your injuries. As seasoned industrial accident lawyers with years of experience litigating complex workplace accidents, our Huntsville and Decatur lawyers can help you explore all the legal options for your claim.If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life in an industrial accident, you deserve the maximum financial compensation available. Contact Ferguson & Ferguson today for a free, confidential, no obligation case consultation.