On May 12, 2013 at 8:20 a.m., an explosion went off inside Black Powder, Inc., a gunpowder plant located on County Road 3455 in Clarksville, Arkansas. The explosion was intense enough to cause significant damage, but not level the building. Curious Clarksville residents, police, and firefighters responded to the scene. Fires that ignited both before or after the explosion were extinguished at 10:30 a.m., according to respondents. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are conducting an investigation.
As reported by gunpowder plant owner Jerry Dean, only one worker from the Johnson County plant was present during the accident. The unnamed man suffered severe burns and was airlifted to the University of Arkansas for Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock. According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the worker was expected to be transferred to the burn unit at a local hospital later that day.
This incident, as well as the West, Texas fertilizer plant that exploded earlier this year and killed 15 people, serve as tragic reminders that safety standards are not always properly enforced. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 143 fatalities and hundreds of severe injuries resulted from workplace fires and explosions in 2011.
Many victims of workplace accidents turn to worker’s comp or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits; in many instances, however, these means are simply not enough to counterbalance the toll their injuries have taken in the form of missed work, hospital bills, pain & suffering, and other damages. Sometimes, in fact, it is not the fault of the employer at all. Other entities are often responsible for workplace accidents and on-the-job injuries. In such cases, compensation beyond workers’ compensation may be available. Cases in which a party other than your employer might be held accountable for your workplace injuries include:
- When safety equipment and/or industrial machinery is defective, in which case the manufacturer would be liable./li>
- On-the-job auto accidents.
- Common construction site accidents, such as falls, injuries from debris, or those caused by ladders or scaffolding.
If you are an Arkansan that has found themselves the victim of a workplace accident, unsure of the proper course of action, you can contact Attorney Group for Arkansas to get the information you need and the compensation you deserve.