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OSHA cites oil company after explosion burns two workers

In our previous post, we discussed how recovering from a brain injury can be a painful process. In fact, recovering from any injury requires a lot of patience and endurance, not to mention a network of supporters. But when workers are injured on-the-job and are forced to take time off to recover, they are unable to work and may also become stressed over finances.

When this occurs, workers may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits that can help injured workers cover medical costs and other necessities while recovering. Frequently, when an accident occurs at work that results in an injury, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may investigate what happened to determine whether the accident could happen again.

In 2010, OSHA cited Eastern Colorado Well Service for safety violations after an explosion occurred. Two workers were severely burned as a result. The company was cited for a number of things including not adequately training workers to recognize hazards that could develop on the work sites. This specific explosion occurred after a truck was started too close to the area where flammable gas had built up.

Now one of the burned workers is suing the truck company for starting the fire. The worker claims that the truck driver parked too close and had he not started the vehicle, the explosion would not have occurred. The owner of the trucking company responded to the lawsuit saying that if his employee's truck had caused the explosion, both the driver and the truck would have been badly damaged as well.

So was it the truck that caused the two men to be burned? Or was it inadequate safety procedures at the work site? Currently, fire officials believe that fumes from the oil drilling ignited and caused tank battery to explode. But right now, it is still in dispute whether the truck driver actually caused the explosion by starting the vehicle.

Source: The Greeley Tribune online, "Worker sues for 2009 oil well site explosion," Sharon Dunn, 04 February 2011

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Eley Law Firm
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