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Georgia Power says Plant Bowen blast employee error

In early April, an explosion erupted at Plant Bowen, a coal-fired power plant in Georgia. Three workers suffered injuries in the blast. We covered the story in Mid-April. Since that time, new information has arisen regarding the potential cause of the workplace accident. Notably, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened a probe into the accident—that investigation is not yet complete.

A Georgia Power official says that an internal investigation revealed evidence that workers may have been to blame for the blast. A spokesperson for Georgia Power says that workers did not follow proper communications procedures as crews were shutting down equipment for a maintenance project.

Few details have been revealed about the events—however, the spokesman says that a mix of hydrogen and air developed in a generator, which ultimately led to the injury producing explosion.

Plant officials say that a team has been brought in to improve workplace safety at the plant. The team has been brought in to review the accident and other procedures.

Notably, workers injured in a workplace accident are entitled to seek benefits through the Georgia workers’ compensation system. The OSHA investigation apparently is not complete, but investigations into a work accident generally are intended to learn about the specific accident and to promote workplace safety in the future.

The investigations generally do not impact a worker’s claim for benefits. OSHA notes that it has been years since a safety violation has been recorded at the coal-fired power plant.

Whether a safety violation is noted or not, a worker injured in a work-related incident may wish to consult with legal counsel familiar with Georgia workers’ compensation laws for information on how the laws operate to provide benefits for workplace injuries.

Source: Rome News-Tribune, “Georgia Power: Worker errors led to Plant Bowen explosion," The Associated Press, May 2, 2013

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