Employees at an Armorock Polymer Concrete manufacturing plant in Boulder City, Nevada were forced to evacuate following an explosion that injured six people.
The explosion caused a fire at the plant and Deputy Fire Chief Greg Chesser said the worker closest to the blast sustained severe burns. One employee was treated for chemical burns and three others suffered minor concussions. One experienced heat-related injuries.
The plant uses a polymer concrete that is resistant to corrosion and contains volatile chemicals, however, according to KTNV Channel 13 Action News Las Vegas, Nevada OSHA and firefighters have not determined the cause of the incident.
But 13 Investigates reported findings that allege Aromorock’s Boulder City site has a history of safety violations. According to 13 Investigates, Nevada OSHA tagged the manufacturer with five serious violations in April regarding respiratory protection equipment, proper safety of an abrasive wheel grinder and forklift operation.
Armorock also reportedly had an accident in which an employee’s thumb had to be amputated after a 300-pound steel plate fell and crushed the thumb.
According to 13 Investigates, Armorock’s safety concerns are not limited to the Nevada location.
A January incident involving a worker being struck by a large mold at a plant in Sulphur Springs, Texas led to 25 serious violations and one willful violation. Armorock also reportedly did not have machine guards installed when the incident occurred.
13 Investigates also reported federal investigators determined “poor housekeeping” at the Texas factory resulted in worker exposure to airborne silica.
As for the Nevada site, Chesser described the damage from the explosion and fire by saying, “All the walls are blown out. All the windows are blown out. On the opposite side where the administration section is, the ceiling is down."