A recycling center can be a valuable asset in the community where it is located as it provides an opportunity to help reduce the waste that winds up in local landfills. Unfortunately, it can also be a hazardous work environment and lead to a serious workplace accident. While workers in Massachusetts and elsewhere typically observe safety protocols, a serious or deadly accident cannot always be prevented.
One such accident at a recycling plant in another state proved to be fatal. According to the reports, a 51-year-old man was engaged in welding with the plant’s equipment. Though the details were not reported, the evidence suggests that something went wrong and an explosion ensued. The worker was caught up in the middle of it.
Emergency crews in Elkhart, Indiana were called to the scene to transport a burn victim by air ambulance. The man suffered what were described as thermal burns. He was taken to the nearest facility equipped to treat patients with severe injuries. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead later that evening. An official with the fire department offered the opinion that flammable gases may have accumulated in the equipment which may have triggered the explosion.
Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are conducting an investigation into this fatal workplace accident in conjunction with officials from Indiana. Company officials expressed condolences for the man’s survivors but did not offer any details surrounding the fatal accident. His survivors will likely qualify for death benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance program. Massachusetts workers, including the surviving families of workers killed in on-the-job accidents, are also entitled to collect benefits from a similar program in this state and are further ensured of the right to pursue reimbursement for all available coverage.
Source: elkharttruth.com, “Explosion at Green Stream Company in Elkhart burns, kills employee”, Emily Pfund, Jan. 2, 2015