Fifteen workers were injured on Monday afternoon when there was a large explosion at a machine factory in Peterborough New Hampshire located right over the Massachusetts border. Unfortunately, many of the injured workers sustained serious injuries and two of the workers sustained critical injuries. The two critically injured employees needed to be transported by Med Flight to Boston Hospitals.
There were actually two explosions, one smaller one followed but a much larger blast that was said to be felt over one half mile away from the Factory. The explosions occurred at New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc., which is a company that employs over 700 local workers and they make high-tech parts for the aerospace industry. The local fire and rescue departments as well as the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms and Explosives are investigating the cause of the explosions.
The fire and rescue said in a statement that the blasts are not believed to be an act of terrorism and appear to be an “industrial related accident”. In an evening briefing, the fire Marshall then stated the blast appeared to occur in an area of the plant where they mix chemicals. The facility reportedly uses acids to treat the surface of ball bearings. About a dozen windows were blown out of the building and the street needed to be blocked off.
The workers who were not hurt needed to be escorted away from the site by a school bus. Onlookers described the scene to be chaotic and many of the workers seemed to be shaken up from the blast. The blast occurred around the same time as a change of shift in the afternoon. Due the change of shift, there were less workers in the building which could have helped avoid more injuries.
OSHA has investigated this company on five occasions since it started keeping records in 1972. Out of the five investigations, OSHA cited this company facility in Peterborough New Hampshire as well as their other plant located in Laconia New Hampshire on three occasions. All three citations were deemed serious. In 2005, a man at this company sustained a serious injury when his hand was caught between a rotating grinding wheel and a stationary object. The company was fined by OSHA due to this incident.
Many factory workers need to work with dangerous chemicals or machines on a routine basis. Sometimes these workers do not know the inherent dangers involved with working with hazardous machines or substances. Usually when an accident occurs, it is not the fault of the employee, rather the accident could have been avoided if the employee was given proper training or proper protective equipment. Unfortunately, it takes a serious accident or injury at a work facility to ultimately cause the company to make long overdue safety changes.
If you, a relative or loved on was involved in a work related industrial injury, it is imperative for them to seek representation with an experienced workers compensation attorney so their rights will be protected and they will receive well needed benefits. Please contact Attorney Michael O. Smith at 617-263-0060 for a free consultation.