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Family of deceased refinery worker may seek death benefits

Refinery workers in Colorado and other states face multiple hazards in the line of duty. Within the blink of an eye, a deadly situation can develop. One such an incident claimed the life of a worker in a neighboring state on a recent Monday. Such tragedies typically lead to death benefits claims filed with the workers' compensation insurance program.

Under circumstances yet to be determined, a fire broke out at a refinery that produces 150,000 barrels per day. It is suspected that a furnace that is associated with the reformer blew, causing the fire. That reforming unit was shut down after the incident to allow investigation.

An employee who was in the immediate vicinity suffered injuries. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Sadly, the worker succumbed to his injuries during the night. Reportedly, the deceased employee was a United Steelworkers Union member. A union spokesperson said the union is working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to determine the cause of the blown furnace to avoid a repetition of this tragic accident.

While nothing can ever make up for the loss of a loved one, the unanticipated financial burden that such a tragedy brings about can be eased. In Colorado, the surviving family members of a deceased worker can file death benefits claims. The workers' compensation insurance system provides coverage of end-of-life expenses along with a portion of lost wages. This wage replacement is typically paid for a predetermined period to assist with day to living expenses and financial obligations such as rent or mortgage payments.

Source: reuters.com, "Refinery worker dies after fire at HollyFrontier Kansas refinery: hospital", Jarrett Renshaw, Sept. 5, 2017

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