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Michigan worker injured in forge explosion

Michigan has always been an industrial state. With access to all the shipping of the Great Lakes and a hardworking population, the automobile industrial and other heavy manufacturers and industry have located themselves in Michigan. These industrial jobs have also traditionally been good jobs for the people of Michigan. One of the causes of the economic distress in Michigan has been the loss of jus this type of well paying job. One reason that these jobs typically paid so well was because they involved working with heavy and dangerous materials and machinery. The potential for a serious industrial injury or workplace accident has always been present.

Today, the Detroit Free Press reported that a worker at an axle manufacturing facility was seriously injured when a hydraulic forge press exploded. The man working on the press at the time suffered severe burns in the blast, according to a supervisor at the plant. The injured machine worker was taken by helicopter to Detroit Receiving Hospital. The local sheriff's office reports that Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act officials are investigating the accident.

A hydraulic forge press basically takes molten hot metal and squeezes it between two large plates using many tons of pressure. Working with a tool like this involves using not only dangerously hot materials, but also machinery that creates an incredible amount of force to shape the metal.

While this kind of work is certainly dangerous, the knowledge that the nature of the work is dangerous does not relieve the employer from the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. A knowledge of the dangers involved actually makes it all the more important that the employer adhere to proper safety measures.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Lapeer man suffers severe burns from explosion of hydraulic forge press," Tammy Stables Battaglia, May 2, 2012

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