Chemical Plant Explosion in St. Charles Leaves Worker with Severe Burn Injuries

By April 17, 2009Burn Injuries

An explosion at a chemical plant left a worker seriously burned and rocked nearby homes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported April 14. The explosion took place late on Easter Sunday, when an overnight shift worker mixed two chemicals at the SantoLubes plant in St. Charles, northwest of the city. SantoLubes makes lubricants and insecticides, and the chemical mixing was supposed to be a routine step in that process. The owner of the plant speculated that contamination in the equipment may have caused the explosion.
The victim, a 38-year employee of the company, is expected to live and was listed in satisfactory condition at a nearby hospital. However, the article said, he suffered burns over 30% of his body. That number may not mean much to folks who have never worked with burn victims, but as a Missouri burn injury lawyer, I know how serious a burn that large can be. On an adult, burns over more than 25% of the body are considered severe. In addition to the pain, which can be considerable, such large burns can be a serious threat to the patient’s life, inviting infections and dehydration. Later, scars can develop that are not only disfiguring but sometimes disabling.
Not much information was available on the cause of the explosion when the Post-Dispatch story ran. But accidents at work are one of the most common causes of serious burns. Workers can be burned on the job by contact with hot surfaces like a griddle or a hot-water heater; electrocution and electrical burns; explosions; steam or hot water; contact with chemicals; or ordinary fire. All employers in the United States must comply with federal occupational safety laws intended to prevent these accidents, but many workplaces fall short, due to lax management or intentional cost-cutting. If a worker is seriously injured on the job in a way that full compliance could have prevented, the employer may be legally liable for a Missouri burn injury lawsuit.
At the Lowe Law Firm, our St. Louis serious burn attorneys help occupational burn victims recover the financial compensation they need to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs; keep their families financially secure while they cannot work; and compensate them for their pain, suffering and possible lifetime of disfiguring or disabling scars. If you or someone you love was seriously burned because of someone else’s carelessness and you would like to learn more, we would like to help. To schedule a free, confidential consultation about a possible St. Louis severe burn lawsuit, please contact us online or call us at 1-877-678-3400, or, in St. Louis, at (314) 678-3400.