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  • Industrial Dust Explosions Continue to Injure Workers at a Wide Variety of Plants

    By Peter M. Patton, Esquire

    Recently a federal jury awarded $181 million to three workers in an action against Conagra Foods, Inc. and a maintenance subcontractor.  The workers were injured when an Illinois grain elevator exploded in 2010 because of an accumulation of grain dust due to poor maintenance practices at the grain elevator, according to news reports.

    Many materials can generate a dust explosion, such as grain, sugar, coal, sawdust, and powdered metals.  The products liability lawyers of Galfand Berger have successfully pursued cases against suppliers of industrial materials for failure to warn of the known danger of industrial dust explosions.  

    For a dust explosion to happen, typically the following are needed:

    • A combustible dust;
    • Oxygen found in the air;
    • A confined space such as a warehouse or a silo; and an
    • Ignition source.

    Our personal injury attorneys have represented clients  where static electricity caused by friction of the dust particles themselves has led to a dust explosion. Grain elevators are a well known source of dust explosions, but there are many other potential locations.

    Good housekeeping practices can help reduce the danger of dust explosions by getting rid of the build-up of combustible dusts.

    If you, a family member or friend has been injured in a dust explosion, contact Galfand Berger at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online. Our office are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

    We can help!