A massive explosion ripped through the Federal-Mogul plant in Blacksburg, Virginia last week. The Federal Mogul Explosion caused severe burn injuries to four contractors working for a company called LCM performing routine duct work, removing aluminum dust. Jeffrey Hodges, age 45, of Bototeourt County, Virginia, and Tommy Bonds, age 53 (of Narrows, Virginia), are listed in serious condition at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Danny Collins of Pearisburg, Virginia, and John Sprangler of Roanoke, Virginia, were also injured in the Federal-Mogul explosion, and have been released from the local hospital.
Industrial dust, such as aluminum dust, is a well-known combustible and serious work injury threat. The dust contains energy, and, if allowed to accumulate, will explode if an ignition source is introduced. OSHA has issued permissible exposure levels (PELs) for combustible dusts, and, when dust is being removed, precaution must be taken to keep contract workers safe.