06 Oct Accidents Can Happen Any Time, Any Place: Staying Safe on the Job
Following Safety Regulations are Essential
On Monday, September 28th, 2020, at 7:45 a.m., an explosion occurred at Amalgamated Sugar’s production complex in Nampa, Idaho, when five employees accessed a closed-down steam dryer during a repair procedure. The five employees, wearing the standard fire-protection gear required for such a procedure, began cleaning out the disabled steam dryer.
The dryer clogged during evening operations on September 27th and was shut down, according to a news story from Capital Press Online. Shortly after the cleaning procedure began, there was an explosion, injuring the five employees. Four were treated on-site and released while the fifth employee was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
None of the injuries were life-threatening, according to the company’s spokesperson, Jessica Anderson. There was also minimal property damage to the area, according to another news report. The reason for the explosion is still under investigation. What is clear is that the fire-protection gear saved the lives of the workers from further serious injury.
What is the Steam Dryer at a Sugar Factory?
A pressurized steam dryer, commonly used in beet sugar factories, removes water from beet pulp, dries the residue, and creates animal feed as the final output, according to Capital Press. A comprehensive report on steam dryer operations is offered here, presented by EnerDry of Denmark in the International Sugar Journal, March 2015.
Amalgamated Sugar operates sugar beet crops on 180,000 acres of land in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, according to a new report by Industrial Equipment News (IEN). It is the second-largest sugar beet processor in the United States.
Importance of Diligence in Machine Oversight
While facts are still to be uncovered in this accident, it does bring forth the need to adhere to schedules for factory machines of any type to ensure maintenance procedures occur regularly. Logbooks for maintenance schedules should be accurately filled out every time there is an incident, and any repairs recorded.
There cannot be skimping or bypassing any of the steps in the repair/maintenance schedule. One skipped step could mean the loss of a worker’s life.
It is also important to notify the machine’s manufacturer when there is an accident with a machine. Reconstructing the event may help fix an unknown problem, especially in a new machine design, so that further accidents do not occur. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will review this accident to see if operations were conducted in the proper way
When an accident like this occurs, Arizona workers compensation laws have oversight on how the accident happened. Benefits are paid for those injured enough that they must be recuperating at home rather than working. If injured under similar circumstances, you should file your claim as soon as possible.
Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation! 602-346-9009.