Industrial accidents can cause injury, loss of life, damage to property, and damage to the environment. Industrial accidents may also be called industrial disasters. All industries must follow certain codes to mitigate the risk of industrial accidents. Most industrial accidents are preventable, as long as these codes are followed. In the majority of cases, negligence or incompetence is behind the industrial accident.
Types of Industrial Accidents
There are many different types of industrial accidents that can occur in many different industries. As one initial industrial accident may cause a rash of disasters, the accident is usually classified by the end result of the entire catastrophe. For example, an explosion may cause a fire and eventually a building collapse. This would not be classified as three separate industrial accidents, but one. Industrial accidents include explosions, hazardous waste spills, nuclear radiation leaks, building collapses, fires, and pollution. Some industries are more prone to industrial accidents than others.
Industries that experience the highest rates of industrial accidents include:
- Defense industry
- Energy industry
- Food industry
- Mining industry
- Manufacturing industry
Organizations Devoted to Industrial Accidents
Industrial accidents are a problem throughout the world, and there are many organizations that have been formed to mitigate the risk of industrial accidents and to help the victims of industrial accidents. The 1992 Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents helps countries in Europe to reduce the risk of industrial accidents, as well as facilitating international cooperation in the event of an industrial accident. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies promotes sharing of information to avoid industrial accidents and sharing of information about industrial accidents that have occurred. The organization also offers assistance to people that have been displaced or otherwise affected by industrial accidents. Industrial accidents often affect more than one country, so countries must work together to avoid and help to clean up industrial accidents.
Steps to take Following Industrial Accidents
If an industrial accident has happened, there are a number of steps that all parties involved must take. The specific steps that should be taken may depend on the type of accident, the extent of the damage, the number of effected people, and the environmental impact of the accident. A detailed accident report must be completed in most cases.
Employees that have been injured should fill out any necessary paperwork to ensure coverage of medical bills and lost wages. Even if employees don’t believe that an injury has occurred, all employees that were present during industrial accidents may wish to receive medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately obvious, but can surface or cause complications later.
Documenting any sustained injuries may be helpful for incident reports and company records. Documentation may help employers to create a safer work environment in the future, and may help to prevent future industrial accidents. Employees that have been injured in an industrial accident usually receive assistance with medical bills and other monetary expenses from the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. In the case of bills and expenses that exceed maximums, or denied worker’s compensation claims, an attorney may be able to assist the employee. An attorney can also be helpful to family members that have lost loved ones in industrial accidents.
Employers should document in detail any industrial accidents, as soon as possible after the event has occurred. Details that may not seem important at the time may be vital later. If an employer is unsure of anything about the procedures that should be followed after an industrial accident, an attorney may be able to assist. An attorney may understand the best phrasing for reports, and may be able to give advice on follow-up plans for correcting situations and preventing future industrial accidents.
If an industrial accident has an impact on the environment, environmental agencies in the area must be contacted. Failure to do so may result in lawsuits and fines. It may be necessary to evacuate the surrounding area, or begin immediate clean-up efforts. In some cases, government agencies may be able to provide support and assistance in clean-up efforts. People in communities that have been affected by an industrial accident should follow all directives. If health problems or property damages occur as a result of industrial accidents, there may be government assistance available. In some cases, a company may be liable for damage or injuries. An attorney may be able to assist in recovery of funds if a company is responsible for an industrial accident.
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