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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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2 of 3 injured workers survive accident at Colorado fracking site

Numerous states, including Colorado, are involved in “fracking,” which is a procedure for harvesting oil and gas that is considered highly controversial. A recent accident at one such site approximately 30 miles north of Denver resulted in three injured workers. Two of them survived, but one worker’s injuries were fatal, and he or she died at the scene. One of the surviving individuals required surgery for the injuries he or she suffered.

Fracking involves water and chemicals that are mixed with sand and gravel. The resulting mixture is injected into a well with high amounts of pressure. The process is designed to break open rock formations beneath the surface. It is controversial because it may cause earthquakes and the leaching of chemicals into the water supply.

The recent accident occurred when the three men were attempting to warm a pipe that had frozen. The pipe burst, killing one worker at the scene and sending the other two to hospitals in the area. The men were employees of Halliburton, which contracts with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., working the grounds of the Fort Lupton site. A Halliburton spokesperson reports that the company is working with officials in the investigation of this tragedy.

Meanwhile, the family of the deceased worker and the two injured workers may be struggling emotionally, physically and financially with what happened. The Colorado workers’ compensation system may not be able to help with the first of those two struggles, but it can help with the financial impact of the accident. Benefits may be available for both the family of the deceased victim and the two workers who survived.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Fracking accident leaves one dead, two injured in Colorado“, James Queally, Nov. 13, 2014

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