Two Injured and One Missing after General Dynamics Workplace Explosion

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Explosion, Work Injury, Workplace Accident, Workplace Explosion, Workplace Injuries, Workplace Safety

In the wake of a devastating explosion at the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems facility near Camden, Arkansas, two employees have been injured, and one remains missing. This tragic incident, which occurred on a quiet Wednesday morning, has sent shockwaves through the local community and raised serious concerns about workplace safety and the legal rights of the victims.

As investigators work to determine the cause of the explosion and authorities seek to locate the missing worker, affected employees and their families face a complex web of legal challenges. Below, the workplace explosion attorneys at Kherkher Garcia explore the explosion, the potential impact on the victims, and the crucial steps victims and their families should take to protect their rights and secure just compensation.

General Dynamics Explosion Details

A morning explosion at General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, a defense company in south Arkansas, resulted in at least two injuries and left one person missing. The incident occurred around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday near Camden, a city with a population of about 10,000 in Ouachita County.

Emergency services responded promptly, with one injured individual transported by an ambulance from El Dorado, approximately 35 miles south of Camden. However, details about the explosion remain scarce.

A spokesperson for General Dynamics, Berkley Whaley, stated that the company is collaborating with first responders and cooperating with authorities during the investigation. Whaley, who is not based at the Camden facility, confirmed that the incident involved pyrotechnics and described it as an explosion. She did not provide specifics about the location of the explosion within Camden’s nearly 900,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space or the extent of the damages.

The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, responsible for the jurisdiction where the incident occurred, reported that General Dynamics has its own team of first responders and has not requested assistance from the sheriff’s office. Local authorities in Camden were also unable to offer additional information about the incident. The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management referred all inquiries to the company’s spokesperson.

General Dynamics operates 28 locations across the United States and Canada, specializing in the production of aircraft guns, missiles, and various types of ammunition.

Hazards of Working in an Ammunition Manufacturing Facility

Working in ammunition manufacturing facilities involves several significant hazards due to the nature of the materials and processes involved. Here are some of the primary hazards:

  • Explosions and Fires: The handling of explosives, propellants, and other combustible materials creates a high risk of accidental explosions and fires. Strict controls and safety measures are necessary to prevent such incidents.
  • Chemical Exposure: Employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing process, including solvents, propellants, and other toxic substances. Prolonged exposure can lead to serious health issues such as respiratory problems, skin irritation, and long-term diseases like cancer.
  • Noise Hazards: The machinery and processes used in ammunition manufacturing can produce high levels of noise, which can lead to hearing loss over time if proper hearing protection is not used.
  • Physical Injuries: The use of heavy machinery, tools, and equipment increases the risk of physical injuries, including cuts, bruises, fractures, and crush injuries.
  • Ergonomic Hazards: Repetitive motions, awkward postures, and manual handling of heavy materials can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and other ergonomic-related injuries.
  • Environmental Hazards: Improper handling and disposal of hazardous waste can lead to environmental contamination, affecting not only workers but also the surrounding community.
  • Psychological Stress: The high-stakes environment, where the risk of accidents can have catastrophic consequences, can lead to significant psychological stress for employees.
  • Radiation Hazards: In some facilities, there may be exposure to radioactive materials, necessitating stringent controls to protect workers from radiation-related health risks.
  • Electrical Hazards: The extensive use of electrical equipment and systems increases the risk of electrical shocks and burns.

Mitigation Measures

To mitigate these hazards, ammunition manufacturing facilities typically implement rigorous safety protocols, including:

  • Comprehensive safety training programs for all employees.
  • Strict adherence to safety regulations and industry standards.
  • Regular safety inspections and maintenance of equipment.
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, hearing protection, and protective clothing.
  • Implementation of robust fire prevention and control measures, including fire-resistant materials and automatic fire suppression systems.
  • Proper ventilation systems to reduce exposure to hazardous fumes and dust.
  • Ergonomic assessments and interventions to minimize the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Emergency response plans and drills to prepare for potential incidents.
  • Continuous monitoring for chemical and noise exposure levels.

By recognizing and addressing these hazards, ammunition manufacturing facilities can create a safer working environment for their employees.

How a Workplace Explosion Attorney Can Help Victims

In the aftermath of a workplace explosion, it is crucial for victims to contact an attorney for several important reasons:

Understanding Legal Rights and Options

Victims may not be fully aware of their legal rights and the compensation they are entitled to under the law. An experienced attorney can explain these rights and help victims understand the options available to them, including workers’ compensation, personal injury claims, and potential lawsuits against responsible parties.

Navigating Complex Legal Processes

The legal procedures involved in filing claims for workplace injuries can be complex and daunting. An attorney can guide victims through the necessary paperwork, legal requirements, and deadlines, ensuring that their claims are filed correctly and on time.

Maximizing Compensation

Attorneys can help victims seek the maximum compensation for their injuries, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. They can assess the full extent of the victim’s losses and advocate for a fair settlement or court award.

Determining Liability

Workplace explosions can involve multiple parties, including employers, contractors, equipment manufacturers, and others. An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine who is liable for the explosion and hold the responsible parties accountable.

Protecting Against Employer Retaliation

Victims may fear retaliation from their employer for filing a claim or lawsuit. An attorney can provide legal protection and ensure that victims’ rights are upheld, helping to prevent any form of employer retaliation.

Handling Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts and may not offer fair settlements to victims. An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of the victims, using their expertise to secure a more favorable outcome.

Access to Resources

Attorneys have access to a network of resources, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and investigators, who can provide crucial evidence and testimony to support the victim’s case.

Emotional Support and Peace of Mind

Dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic explosion can be overwhelming. Having an attorney manage the legal aspects allows victims to focus on their recovery and well-being, providing peace of mind during a difficult time.

Ensuring Compliance with Regulations

Workplace explosions often involve violations of safety regulations and standards. An attorney can ensure that these violations are addressed and that the victim’s case is strengthened by demonstrating non-compliance.

Long-Term Implications

The consequences of a workplace explosion can have long-term implications on a victim’s health and livelihood. An attorney can help secure compensation that accounts for future medical needs, rehabilitation, and lost earning potential.

By contacting an attorney, workplace explosion victims can navigate the legal landscape more effectively, ensuring that their rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses.

Contact a Workplace Explosion Attorney

If you or a loved one has been affected by a workplace explosion, Kherkher Garcia’s experienced attorneys are here to help. We understand the devastating impact these incidents can have on your life and are committed to fighting for your rights. Our team will navigate the complex legal landscape to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.

Don’t face this challenging time alone. Contact Kherkher Garcia today for a free consultation and let us provide the legal support you need to secure your future. Call us at 713-333-1030 or complete our online contact form to learn more.


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Kevin Haynes

Kevin Haynes

Firm Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Firm Partner Kevin Haynes. Kevin has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 15 years. He has won $150 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. Kevin is powerful and effective in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been seriously injured at work or on the road.

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