Photo from the Associated Press
At 9:12 a.m. on April 16, 1947 explosions sent smoke billowing into the sky as a ship called S.S. Grandcamp burst into flames on the docks in Texas City.
The incident, now known as the Texas City Disaster, killed 576 people and injured an additional 5,000. A majority of the local fire department, 26 members in all, died in the tragic event.
Aboard the S.S. Grandcamp had been 50,000 bags of ammonium nitrate, each marked simply with the words “FERTILIZER (Ammonium Nitrate).” Another marking on every bag indicated its contents had been made in the United States. What was not, however, marked on each bag was any type of warning label or caution symbol.
The problem was that those living and working near the ship loaded with the bags of ammonium nitrate assumed they were safe. They either didn’t know about the ammonium nitrate or thought the bags of fertilizer posed no real danger. No one had warned them that the S.S. Grandcamp contained dangerous materials.
The huge explosion was set in motion after several 100-pound bags of the ammonium nitrate fertilizer caught on fire. Before those in the dock area knew what was happening, the fertilizer exploded, instantly killing a staggering number of civilians, including children.
In 2011 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced proposals to require anyone selling, buying or transporting 25 pounds or more of the ammonium nitrate fertilizer to register with the agency. No one knows if a federal regulation such as this would have prevented the Texas City Disaster, but it definitely would have decreased the chances of such a terrible accident.
Now, more than 60 years later, the Texas City Disaster still stands as a reminder of the devastating effects of workplace accidents and the importance of safety measures in preventing such incidents. The event was one of the worst workplace accidents in U.S. history, but the memory of the tragedy can continue to drive us toward measures that will help bring millions of workers safely home each night.
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Going a few hours without checking your cell phone isn’t going to kill you, but answering a call or text while driving just might.
Each year more than 3,000 people die in car crashes involving a distracted driver. The National Safety Council estimates that 23% of all car accidents each year involve cell phone use. That’s 1.6 million crashes!
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so we’ve put together a list of ways to keep your attention on the road… starting with putting down that phone.
You never know when a workplace accident may occur. On-the-job accidents are unpredictable, so its important to always be prepared.
Having a first aid kit ready and available on the job site is not only smart, but also an OSHA requirement. The contents of your first aid kit should be tailored to the type of work you do and the number of employees on-site, but there are some items that every first aid kit should contain.
In this week’s Safety Tip Tuesday video, Chris shows you what items you should have in your first aid kit so you’re properly prepared for an accident.
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Its Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and this infographic by the National Safety Council shows us that hands-free devices are still extremely dangerous to use while driving. Check it out, and stay safe out there on the road!
Provided by The National Safety Council
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