Workplace accidents can have devastating consequences for workers and their families, leading to serious injuries and even fatalities. While employers are required by law to provide a safe working environment, accidents can still occur due to a variety of factors, including malfunctions, operator error, and failure to follow safety protocols. The following are ten of the most egregious workplace failures of the past 25 years.
- Air Traffic Controller Accident: In 2012, an air traffic controller at JFK airport in New York fell asleep on the job, causing two planes to land without guidance from the control tower.
- Mining Accident: In 2010, 33 miners were trapped underground for 69 days in a mine in Chile after a cave-in blocked their exit. All of the miners were eventually rescued.
- Construction Accident: In 2008, a crane at a construction site in New York City collapsed, killing 7 people and injuring many others. The cause was later determined to be a combination of operator error and mechanical failure.
- Chemical Plant Explosion: In 2013, a chemical plant in West, Texas, exploded, killing 15 people and injuring hundreds. The cause was later determined to be a failure to properly store and manage hazardous chemicals.
- Oil Rig Explosion: In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 people and causing the largest oil spill in US history. The cause was later determined to be a failure of multiple safety systems.
- Amusement Park Accident: In 1999, an amusement park ride called the Sphinx in Belgium malfunctioned, killing one person and injuring several others. The cause was found to be a technical malfunction in the ride’s computer system.
- Skyscraper Accident: In 2007, a construction worker was killed and several others were injured when a crane collapsed at a high-rise building site in Toronto, Canada. The cause was found to be a failure in the crane’s electrical system.
- Factory Accident: In 2014, a factory in Bangladesh producing clothing for major retailers collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring over 2,000. The cause was found to be poor construction and disregard for building codes and safety regulations.
- Firefighters Accident: In 2013, 19 firefighters were killed while battling a wildfire in Arizona, marking the largest loss of firefighter lives in a single incident in the US since the 9/11 attacks. The cause was found to be a sudden and unpredictable change in wind direction.
- Shipyard Accident: In 2013, a large ship undergoing construction at a shipyard in South Korea capsized, killing 15 people and injuring many others. The cause was found to be improper balance of the ship and a failure to secure it properly.
These accidents serve as a reminder of the need for companies to prioritize safety in the workplace and to continually assess and improve their safety protocols.
A worker may need a workers’ compensation attorney after a workplace accident because the process of obtaining compensation and benefits can be complicated and challenging. An attorney can help navigate the workers’ compensation system, assist with filing claims, and represent the worker in negotiations with insurance companies and employers.
An attorney can also provide guidance on the types of compensation and benefits that a worker may be eligible for, including medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and death benefits. They can also help the worker understand their legal rights and obligations, and provide advocacy in the event of a dispute with the employer or insurance company.
For a confidential consultation with our experienced, compassionate, values-centered lawyers, please call the team at Lavrac Accident Law at 877-244-6727.