In Rock Island, Illinois, workers at UPS Freight showed up at work like any other day, but unfortunately, an unexpected turn of events made it a very unordinary day. The day was just beginning around 5 a.m., when one of the workers turned over the ignition on a forklift. An immediate explosion occurred.
This UPS site, on 31st Street, stored its forklifts inside a semi-trailer. This is where the forklift was when the blast took place. The explosion is believed to have been caused by a leaky propane tank in one of the forklifts. When the forklift’s ignition was turned over, a spark must have ignited the propane.
Three employees suffered injuries from the blast. According to the fire marshal, one of the workers was taken to the hospital while the other two were treated at the scene. Not only were the three employees injured, but the semi-trailer was significantly damaged. The building also experienced damaged cinder blocks and blown-out glass.
It is fortunate that more workers were not injured; at least two of the injured workers did not appear to have any serious injuries since they were treated at the scene. The severity of the injuries for the worker transported to the hospital is unknown.
The positive factor in this situation is that workers’ compensation insurance should cover the victims’ injuries. Every employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees for incidents just such as this.
Workers’ compensation should cover all medical treatment for the employees’ injuries, as well as any other damages, such as lost wages. In the case of permanent injuries or disabilities, a settlement is often negotiated.
If you are injured on the job, your first step is to contact an attorney. Dealing with workers’ compensation on your own can be very frustrating. It often requires approval for specialists or procedures, and the insurance company may try to settle for paying for less than you deserve. Having an attorney will ensure that you are treated fairly and help you get the treatment and compensation you deserve.
Source: WQAD 8, “Workers injured in blast at UPS Freight in Rock Island,” WQAD Digital Team, Feb. 15, 2018