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Pressure test results in fatal workplace injuries in California

Most workers likely have certain job responsibilities that they routinely perform. Because of the commonality of these tasks, they may feel a false sense of safety. Unfortunately, the vast majority of job-related tasks have the potential of resulting in serious or fatal workplace injuries, regardless of how often they are performed. For example, a worker in California was recently killed, reportedly while he was conducting a pressure test on a tank.

Emergency workers were called to the scene one morning in early November.  Initial reports indicate that a worker may have been injured in an explosion related to a welding accident. When firefighters arrived, however, there was no smoke or fire at the scene.

Instead, first responders discovered the body of a worker inside a tank. Evidence at the scene indicated that the deceased man suffered a large amount of blood loss. Firefighters who attempted to retrieve the body suffered from heat exposure. Ultimately, the man's body was recovered after firefighters cut into the tanker. The victim's identity has not been released pending identification.

When accidents such as this result in fatal workplace injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration typically conducts an investigation to determine if health or safety standards were violated leading up to the accident. The results of an investigation are often able to provide answers to grieving family members but do nothing to help them with the financial ramifications of their loss. Fortunately, employers in California and across the country are required to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage. An experienced attorney can help those who are grieving seek the benefits they deserve.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Worker Found Dead Inside Tanker", Patrick Healy and Willian Avila, Nov. 4, 2016

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