Georgia is home to numerous industrial facilities and plants where workers are exposed to hazardous conditions daily. Unfortunately, accidents can and do occur, resulting in serious injuries, fatalities, and financial hardship.
The Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at John Foy & Associates have extensive experience representing victims of industrial and plant accidents throughout Georgia. We are committed to helping injured workers and their families after these life-altering incidents.
If you have suffered harm due to an industrial or plant accident in Georgia, you are likely eligible for financial compensation. Contact us now for a free case evaluation, or keep reading to learn more.
Accident Risks in Various Industrial Sectors
While industrial plant accidents can affect both employees and bystanders, the workers usually bear the brunt of these disasters. Working conditions and hazards vary across different manufacturing and industrial sectors.
Some risks include:
- Chemical plants: Exposure to corrosive or poisonous chemicals may cause respiratory issues, burns, and other illnesses. Explosions are also a major hazard.
- Coal mines: Coal dust can cause black lung disease and respiratory problems. Collapsing tunnels, methane explosions, and equipment accidents also endanger miners.
- Nuclear facilities: Exposure to radiation and radioactive materials leads to cancer and organ damage. Nuclear reactor meltdowns release massive contamination.
- Metal foundries and mills: Molten metal, unguarded machinery, and particulate matter cause severe burns and respiratory disease.
- Plastics manufacturers: Hazardous polymer fumes and runaway chemical reactions endanger workers’ health. Machine entanglement is also a risk.
- Oil refineries and gas plants: Leaking gasses trigger explosions and fires. Other hazards include chemical burns and inhalation issues.
- Automotive assembly lines: Workers risk equipment injuries and falls.
- Food processing plants: Slippery floors, dangerous machinery, and chemical exposures lead to various injuries.
Understanding the unique dangers in each industry is important when determining liability after an injury. An attorney can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.
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Liquid Nitrogen Leak at Gainesville Poultry Plant
In January 2021, Foundation Food Group’s poultry processing facility in Gainesville, Georgia, was the site of a deadly industrial accident.
A leak from the plant’s liquid nitrogen system asphyxiated six workers and injured at least ten others. Those killed included maintenance personnel, supervisors, and managers trying to isolate the leak.
The release of the ultra-cold liquid nitrogen vapor quickly displaced breathable oxygen in the enclosed space. Workers in the area succumbed within seconds, unable to escape the deadly gas.
Sugar Refinery Dust Explosion and Fire Northwest of Savannah
Years earlier, in 2008, a powerful explosion rocked the Imperial Sugar refinery northwest of Savannah, Georgia. The blast ultimately killed 14 workers and injured 36 others, making it one of the deadliest industrial disasters in the state’s history.
Combustible sugar dust that had accumulated inside the packing buildings fueled the explosion. Unfortunately, warning signs of dust buildup and improper housekeeping practices had long been ignored.
Static electricity is believed to have ignited the widespread dust, creating a fast-moving blast that collapsed walls and machinery.
Recovering Lost Wages and Medical Costs
When disaster strikes on the job, workers’ compensation provides vital support to injured employees. If you are unable to work, temporary income benefits are there to replace around two-thirds of your average weekly wages. Fortunately, these benefits are not taxable in Georgia, and the payments can continue for up to 400 weeks in most cases.
A group of doctors will make the decisions regarding your medical care. Workers’ compensation covers doctor visits, therapy, medications, travel for care, and other injury-related expenses. For permanent disability, you may receive impairment benefits based on AMA guidelines and disability ratings—the more severe the impairment, the higher the rating and compensation.
While workers’ compensation leaves out damages like pain and suffering, the system works to cover medical care and replace income during recovery. You can also receive vocational training if you are unable to return to work in the same capacity. An attorney can help ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Fatal Accident
While workers’ compensation laws share similarities nationwide, benefits do vary by state. In Georgia, families of employees killed in workplace accidents may receive death benefits.
For instance, after an incident like the poultry plant tragedy, affected spouses and children could potentially get weekly payments amounting to two-thirds of the deceased’s salary and up to $7,500 in funeral expense coverage.
Though no amount of money can undo what happened, these benefits aim to provide financial stability for grieving families suddenly missing a breadwinner. When the unthinkable happens, our attorneys can advise families on pursuing benefits through Georgia’s workers’ compensation system.
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Not every industrial accident is solely a workers’ compensation case. Injured bystanders not employed by the factory or plant can, of course, sue the company directly.
Also, Georgia workers injured by third-party negligence or defective products may pursue additional damages through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. These civil claims seek additional compensation beyond standard “workers’ comp” benefits.
Cases may involve:
- Injuries caused by third-party contractors, engineers, or vendors onsite
- Equipment, tools, or products that malfunctioned due to manufacturing defects
- Exposure to toxic chemicals, asbestos, or dangerous materials from suppliers
- Automobile accidents occurring during work duties
Unlike workers’ comp, personal injury lawsuits can recover pain and suffering damages, punitive awards, lost wages, and more. An attorney can advise you on whether third-party liability applies in your case.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an industrial or plant accident in Georgia, please call our personal injury law firm today for a free case evaluation. Our experienced attorneys have helped victims recover damages in all types of industrial accidents involving dangerous machinery, defective equipment, hazardous chemicals, and other disasters.
We take the time to understand the unique impacts of each person’s injury and the damages they suffer as a result. Our lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident and pursue the maximum amount available in your case.
Contact us 24/7 for a free consultation.