On Jan. 8, sometime before 3:30 p.m., an explosion took place in one of the labs at Amgen Inc. No one can enter the lab at the California-based company where a chemical explosion took place until it has been deemed safe. At that time, OSHA can continue its investigation into this industrial accident.
So far, all that is known is that equipment-sterilizing solvents caused a chemical reaction that led to the explosion. Three workers were in the lab at the time. Two of them required medical attention. They were taken to the hospital for treatment of their injuries and then released. The third only developed a bruise on her leg.
The lab sustained significant damage in the explosion, which even blew out the windows. The South San Francisco Fire Department responded to the scene. An evacuation was conducted and a HazMat team was deployed. Once authorities verified that the chemicals did not disperse into the atmosphere, the lab was sealed off for decontamination.
This is the second explosion at Amgen Inc. in the past year. Undoubtedly, working with hazardous chemicals comes with risks. Proper safety protocols need to be in place in order to avoid exposure and chemical reactions that could cause an explosion like this one.
It remains to be seen if proper safety measures were in place when the explosion occurred. In the meantime, the workers that required medical attention after this industrial accident could be eligible for benefits through the California workers' compensation insurance program. Depending on their injuries and recovery time, benefits may include medical costs and possibly a financial package to cover any lost wages.
Source: San Bruno, CA Patch, Employees Injured, Lab Damaged in Amgen Inc. Explosion, Laura Dudnick, Jan. 9, 2014