Even the most safety-conscious companies will sometimes suffer accidents. While it did not happen in Arizona, an industrial accident at a coal-fired power plant in another state claimed the lives of two workers and injured four others late on a recent Tuesday night. A review of Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports on the plant’s safety record apparently reveal a relatively clean history, listing only one safety violation citation in 2013.
According to a spokesperson for the company, this most recent accident occurred while the workers were performing maintenance in an enclosure approximately 25 feet underground. The men were down in a pit replacing an elbow joint when the pipe they were working on ruptured. The pipe — which was supposed to be disabled — began spewing sludge into the pit.
The sludge released a toxic gas, currently believed to be hydrogen sulfide, and the substance quickly overcame the two workers trapped in the pit. Four other employees who were standing up above the pit were injured as well. They were flown for treatment to various local hospitals, where, as of most recent reports, two remain in critical condition.
Both the company and OSHA are conducting investigations into how the tragic industrial accident occurred. The injured employees will likely rely on workers’ compensation to help pay for their medical expenses and time missed at work while they recuperate. Any workers in Arizona who find themselves similarly injured in a workplace accident would also likely be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, though insurance companies are often hesitant to pay the full amount to which injured employees are entitled. In such situations, injured workers may find the representation of an experienced Arizona workers’ compensation attorney invaluable in fighting to get them the benefits they need and deserve.
Source: wpxi.com, “BRUCE MANSFIELD POWER PLANT: Workers in deadly Beaver County power plant accident identified”, Aug. 30, 2017