Worker at Magnetic Field Lab Killed by Steel Cap Explosion

Authorities say a 52-year-old worker at a high magnetic field laboratory was killed when a release of pressure caused a steel cap to come loose, shoot forward, and hit him according to a recent article from the Tennessee Democrat. Employee was a mechanical trade worker who, along with assistance of a work crew, was constructing a magnet when the fatal on-the-job accident occurred.

magnet-1157455.jpgSpecifically, his team was building a system designed to provide water cooling to the magnet under construction. They were trying to remove the steel cap gently, but it was caught in a jet of pressurized water, and the pipe was propelled forward toward employee. After the steel cap hit him, first responders were immediately called to scene. The laboratory’s own safety personnel showed up, immediately followed by local police, fire department personnel and EMTs.

It did not take long for EMTs to arrive on the scene, but, unfortunately, there was very little they could do to help employee, and he was pronounced dead on scene. While it is assumed he was killed as a result of the impact of the steel cap, there has been no official announcement on the cause of death. There is an autopsy scheduled, and the medical examiner will release a detailed report to interested parties and the family, once information is available.

While the EMTs were doing what they could to assist worker who had been hit by the steel cap, the safety crew was making sure the pressure was released from the system and checking to make sure no one else in the facility was at risk of being injured. Safety teams shut down all water pumps and compressors and found that problems were confined to one area in the facility. The area where the accident occurred was shut down following further inspections to make sure this never happens again. It should be noted that the laboratory said this tragic accident in no way affects the safety of the magnets being sold to customers. The lab also said nobody else working at the lab was in danger at any time.

This particular lab is one of the world’s largest and most advanced of its kind. There are around 600 employees working at the facility, and this was the first fatal on-the-job accident since it opened. The only other serious workplace accident reported there involved an employee who was very seriously burned on the job. While corporation is proud of its safety track record, notwithstanding this latest incident, officials say there is always room to learn new safety methods and improve in the future.

While many people call a Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorney following a serious accident where a worker is injured, but still alive, it is still necessary to file a workers’ compensation claim following a fatal on-the-job accident. In the case of fatal workplace accidents, the claim will be for what is known as workers’ compensation death benefits. Death benefits in the context of workers’ compensation can cover past medical expenses associated with the final injury or illness, lost wages, and funeral expenses.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Killed MagLab worker struck by pressurized steel cap, October 22, 2015, Tallahassee Democrat, by Sean Rossman

More Blog Entries:
Morrison v. Wal-Mart – Compensation for Exacerbation of Work Injury, Oct. 19, 2015, Rock Hill Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog

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