Whether in Ohio or any other state, employers are expected – and legally required – to take certain safety precautions when it comes to the well-being of their employees. Unfortunately, sometimes things as simple as laziness, miscommunication or human error mean that these regulations aren’t followed, which results in people paying with their health or even their lives. In another state, a recently settled lawsuit appears to have involved a case of this nature, when two employees died from exposure to toxic materials at work.
The now-deceased men were employees at a livestock food plant. One of them entered an air-tight tanker to clean it of a residue that remained after it had been drained. Unbeknown to him, the tanker was full of hydrogen sulfide gas, a hazardous chemical that can be fatal after only a few breaths. Within seconds of entering the tanker car, the man passed out.
The other victim in the incident was nearby when he heard someone else shouting for help. When the second employee entered the tanker car to rescue his unconscious coworker, he too passed out from the toxic gas. Tragically, both men died as a result of the toxic exposure.
Neither worker was aware that the car was full of the deadly gas, as – according to reports – the company had failed to train its employees in the safety precautions federally required for their work. An official investigation found the plant guilty of a number of serious and willful safety violations. While the company faces fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it chose to settle in the lawsuit, never formally admitted liability in the men’s deaths but awarding a $6 million settlement to the family members of the two deceased victims. If such a tragic situation involving toxic materials happened in Ohio, the surviving family members would benefit from exploring their options for legal recourse with a product liability attorney experienced in cases of a similar nature.
Source: pjstar.com, “Families to receive $6 million in 2014 Agridyne deaths”, Michael Smothers, Jan. 10, 2018