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OSHA Report – Worker Deaths Due to Hazardous Gas in Recycling Facility

OSHA, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has completed inspections they were required to do as a result of three employee deaths in Jamaica, NY this past June.  An employee of S. Dahan Piping and Heating Co. died because of inhaling hydrogen sulfide gas while cleaning a dry well at Regal Recycling Company, two other employees died in their attempt to rescue him.

OSHA reports this incident as a confined space death.  A confined space is one that has limited or restricted access of entry or exit, is large enough for a worker to enter and work in, but is not designed for continuous occupancy. Regal Recycling failed to post signs warning its employees of hazards that may be present in a confined space, such as the dry well.  If you are working under hazardous conditions be mindful of your workplace rights and what you can expect from your employer.

S. Dahan Piping and Heating was issued ciatations for the confined-space hazards and for not having a respiratory-protection program.  Regal Recycling Co. was issued one citation for the absence of warning signs and for not correcting hazards they were told to due so after an inspection in January 2009, six months prior to the deaths.  If you are OSHA workplace rights

The families of those who perish in these unfortunate situations are eligible for workers’ comp death benefits.