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Company managers are responsible for keeping employees safe while at work. Failure to do so can result in accidents, explosions, injury and sometimes death.
Employees of JJ's restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri filed a lawsuit against five companies and an energy company employee after a natural gas explosion in February. According to CNN, the named defendants were listed as Missouri Gas Energy (MGE), excavating contractor Heartland Midwest, an independent company Time Warner Cable, two additional businesses and MGE employee Michael Pailer.
The explosion occurred an hour after an employee for a contractor hit a 2-inch gas line with an underground boring machine while laying fiber optic cable. One woman at the restaurant was killed and another 15 individuals were injured, including the six plaintiffs that filed the lawsuit, CNN reported.
The Kansas City Business Journal reported the employees are seeking damages for injuries they sustained as a result of the explosion as well as unspecified punitive damages. The employees alleged the defendants acted negligently in following the proper safety protocol as well as safety measures.
Failure to properly mark the gas line on a map or the energy company's lack of protective action in the incident may have been the cause of the injuries and death in the explosion.
The Kansas City Star reported inaccurate street markings by the excavation crew may have contributed to the explosion, or that the utility crew from the gas company did not have accessibility to the valves allowing them to turn off the gas lines or decided against using the valves to avoid potential harm.
As a result of the explosion, the Kansas City Fire Department changed the rules of response regarding possible gas leaks including emergency crews remaining with the gas company until the risks of an explosion are eliminated.
Safety equipment including combustible gas leak detectors can alert excavators, utility crews, rescue teams as well as employees to dangerous situations of possible explosions.
Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection systems.