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Dangerous gas causes fatal work injury to 2 unprotected workers

Pennsylvania workers in various industries may be interested in the tragic deaths of two workers in another state. Their lives were lost when they were in conditions that may have required masks to protect them from inhaling dangerous gas fumes; however, they were allegedly not supplied with gas masks. In order to prevent the occurrence of a work injury, business owners are responsible for the safety of all workers on their premises, not only by supplying protective gear, but also by providing safety training and safe work environments.

The fatal workplace accident occurred on a recent Tuesday at a plant where agricultural food supplements are manufactured. A surviving worker described that while preparing to carry out regular duties of cleaning out a railroad tanker, one worker fell into the tanker. A second worker apparently jumped in to save his colleague, but they were both overwhelmed by dangerous fumes. It was still not confirmed whether they were affected by carbon monoxide, as was initially thought, or by hydrogen sulfide that can cause almost instant death.

Masked rescuers arrived within minutes to extricate the two workers. The second worker was declared dead upon extrication, and the worker who first fell into the tanker was unresponsive when he was transported to a hospital, where he also died. This seems to be another one of many workplace accidents that could have been avoided if proper safety regulations were followed.

The families of the two workers who died after the work injury are likely overwhelmed with grief. Having to cope with the expenses of the final arrangements of a loved one at this time is naturally distressing. However, the aim of the workers’ compensation insurance fund is to provide financial aid to injured workers, as well as the next-of-kin of workers who die in workplace accidents. While the family may be facing financial hardship due to the loss of income, the benefits of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation commonly include a portion of lost income, along with funeral and burial expenses and survivor benefits.

Source:, "Hydrogen sulfide gas suspected in deaths of Pekin Agridyne workers", Michael Smothers, June 25, 2014

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