A tech at a chemical laboratory suffered a workplace injury following a factory explosion in another state. While thankfully it appears that this worker’s on-the-job injury does not endanger the man’s life, it still serves as an important lesson to those in Arizona who manage laboratories in connection with either research or drug manufacturing.
In laboratory situations, work accidents can occur because of chemical reactions that cause explosions, the release of toxins or other hazards. In this case, the injured worker was working with a chemical called “tetrazine.” While not harmful in itself, the chemical is volatile and apparently reacts easily with other matter.
There was some sort of reaction that causes an explosion. The explosion sent glass flying, and the shards cut the worker’s arm. Rescuers responded to the scene, which was on the middle levels of a building with 10 floors. The laboratory operates as a research facility for a hospital, so rescuers were initially unsure of the chemical involved or the extent of the danger.
Chemical laboratories in Arizona pose similar risks for their employees. It is imperative that workers in chemical laboratories know how to handle chemicals properly and have the necessary equipment and training in order to do so. Those Arizona workers who do get injured because of a chemical burn, noxious fumes or on account of a chemical explosion could probably receive workers’ compensation to cover their medical expenses and any lost wages.
Thankfully, the chemical involved in this case caused relatively little harm, although the injured worker is extremely lucky that his injuries were not more serious. No doubt some Arizona laboratories use chemicals that could in the right circumstances inflict serious damage on the laboratory’s employees, so the managers of these labs must take the utmost precautions.
Source: NECN, “Worker hurt in Charlestown, Mass. lab chemical explosion,” Mollie Bryant, Feb. 26, 2013