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Ohio cites city over fatal explosion

September 17, 2012

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Struthers has been cited over a March 1 explosion that resulted in the deaths of two workers at its waste treatment plant according to The plant’s lead maintenance man and an assistant maintenance man were working on wiring in the plant’s gas compression room when a spark ignited methane gas, and an explosion resulted. After spending weeks in the burn unit of a Pittsburgh hospital, the two men died. The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (OWC) issued the city 10 safety violations on Wednesday, five of which include:
  • “Exposed the workers to hazards of fire and explosion from the ignition of methane gas. The state recommends conducting a fire-and explosion-risk evaluation of wastewater treatment and collection operations to identify where gas is accumulating.
  • “The workers were not given enough space to work away from grounded and ungrounded pipes and other equipment.
  • “The workers didn’t have training on electrical hazards.
  • “The workers weren’t wearing proper protective equipment.
  • “Electrical switches, circuits and other equipment were not marked to warn workers of potential hazards."
If the violations are not corrected, the city may be taken to court, where a penalty of not more than $500 per violation, may be imposed on the city. The Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy extend our condolences to the family and friends of the men who died in this workplace accident.

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