Authorities in Georgia have reported than an explosion at an Augusta chemical plant on Sept. 27 claimed the life of one worker and left two others injured. The workplace accident took place at approximately 12.50 p.m. in the vicinity of the Bobby Jones Expressway and Sand Bar Ferry Road in East Augusta. A fire report reveals that first responders arrived at the scene within 10 minutes of the blast, and the chemical company involved said in a statement that work at the facility had been suspended and investigators would be provided with unfettered access to the site.

The accident occurred as workers and contractors were performing work on a wastewater tank. It involved welding a metal plate to the side of the tank that would be used to anchor a metal handrail. Reports indicate that the tank, which contained wastewater, was not pressurized and had been moved to a containment dyke because it was leaking. The air outside the tank was checked for combustible compounds before work commenced, but no tests were performed on the air inside the tank according to the fire report. However, investigators were quick to point out that their inquiries had just begun.

Firefighters found the body of one worker about 75 feet from the blast site. He was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 1:10 p.m. An injured contractor who had been inside the tank at the time of the explosion was transported to a local hospital for treatment and chemical decontamination along with a second contractor who had been standing nearby.

The Georgia workers’ compensation program is designed to help injured workers to cope financially until they are able to return to their jobs and provide benefits to dependent family members in cases involving a work-related death. However, applying for these benefits can be a frustrating experience. Attorneys with experience in this area can provide assistance during the claims process and advocate on behalf of workers or their families should their applications be challenged.