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Worker fatally injured at work when bulldozer lands in wastewater

Operators of heavy mechanical equipment in Colorado and other states are typically exposed to severe risks. Regardless of how many years of experience a worker has, situations can arise that may be life-threatening. A 57-year-old operator of heavy construction equipment at a refinery in another state recently lost his life after he was fatally injured at work. His family said he never discussed the dangers of his work because he wanted to spare them the anxiety.

It was reported that the accident happened at a Total refinery shortly after midnight on a recent Sunday morning. Authorities say the worker was operating a bulldozer, pushing coke residue into a pit near a levee. For reasons not yet determined, the heavy machine tipped over and landed in a scalding hot wastewater pool.

The worker's body was retrieved after the bulldozer was towed from the pit that was filled with crude oil byproducts and wastewater -- the temperature of which was about 200 degrees. Attempts were made to revive the worker, but it was in vain. It was reported that the worker's entire body was covered with severe burns, and his death by drowning was recorded. A full autopsy will be carried out.

The surviving families of Colorado workers who have lost their lives after being fatally injured at work may find comfort in knowing that financial relief may be pursued. The workers' compensation insurance fund offers death benefits to covered dependents of deceased workers. Not only will end-of-life expenses be covered, but a financial package as compensation for lost income typically forms part of the survivor benefits.

Source:, "Worker who died at Port Arthur refinery didn't want to worry family", Eric Besson, Sept. 9, 2015

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