A workplace explosion in Southern Illinois is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal. One worker was critically injured in the blast, having suffered burn injuries that required his being airlifted to a St. Louis hospital. He was said to be in critical condition as of Feb. 11.
The explosion occurred at a Caterpillar manufacturing plant that straddles the county line between Williamson and Saline counties. At the time of the blast, the worker was in a paint booth. According to a fire protection official from Williamson County, The paint booth was a complete loss and it adjoined another structure that had fire damage.
A news report doesn’t indicate how long the rescue took, but responders from both counties showed up to assist. Apparently the plant, which repairs and services mine equipment, employs about 70 workers, but only the one worker was injured. The explosion happened at around 8:15 a.m., and fire and rescue responders remained on the premises until after noon.
A news report only indicates that the fire marshal is investigating, but the Occupational Health and Safety Administration may well send officials to look into the cause of the explosion.
Anyone who has even touched a cooking pan knows that burn injuries are some of the most painful injuries a person can have. The employee in this case will be eligible for workers compensation benefits, but he may also need legal assistance in obtaining the full amount due. Employers and insurance companies often try to limit payouts by skewing investigation results, even in cases that appear to be clear from the start.