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Contractor suffers fatal workplace injury at oil refinery

Oklahoma workers on oil refineries will know how dangerous their jobs are. An employee with 18 years of experience said workers are aware of the inherent risk of the job when they sign up for it. A worker recently died after suffering a fatal workplace injury at a refinery in another state, the same refinery at which two workers died and two were injured in a workplace accident in 2013.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating an incident that claimed the life of a 37-year-old worker. Investigators said he was an employee of an industrial engineering company that was contracting during maintenance procedures. Reportedly, he was one of the several workers that were changing a heat exchanger on a platform that was elevated when a portion of pipe became detached and fell on the worker.

OSHA inspectors said the pipes could be between three and 20 feet long and weigh anywhere between several hundred to several thousand pounds. It was also reported that numerous employees at refineries in the area have been reporting their concerns about unsafe work environments. An OSHA spokesperson said the agency will work on finding ways to prevent similar incidents.

When an Oklahoma family loses a loved one in an accident that caused a fatal workplace injury, the emotional and financial consequences are naturally devastating. Although such a tragedy can never be undone, the financial burden of surviving family members may be eased by pursuing financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance system. Death benefits claims may be filed for coverage of end-of-life expenses and a financial package that is typically awarded to assist the dependents of the deceased worker with living expenses for a predetermined period after the tragedy.

Source: 12newsnow.com, "Worker killed at Beaumont ExxonMobil refinery identified", Brandi Smith, May 11, 2016

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