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Hydrogen sulfide causes work-related illness at methane gas plant

Workers at plants where organic waste is turned into methane gas in Missouri and other states may be exposed to hazardous gases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been investigating such a plant in a neighboring state since October after a worker landed in the hospital. This employee suffered exposure to hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas that can cause a serious work-related illness.

Subsequently, another worker suffered such exposure at the same plant on a recent Wednesday night. Reportedly, during the installation of a new pipe, the employee was exposed to the dangerous gas that smells like rotten egg. Colleagues gave him first aid until emergency workers arrived. They transported him to a hospital, though his life was not thought to be in danger.

Authorities closed the entrance to the plant until they could complete the investigation into the level of exposure that occurred. The incident in October apparently forced residents in the surrounding area to evacuate their homes. Authorities say the unpleasant smell still lingers in some of the homes.

Regardless of the severity of a work-related illness, along with hospitalization comes medical bills. Such unanticipated costs can ruin the budget of any worker, and it may jeopardize his or her ability to care for the family. Fortunately, victims of such diseases in Missouri and other states can pursue recovery by filing benefits claims with the state's workers' compensation insurance system. The program will cover all necessary medical expenses related to the illness, along with compensation for lost wages due to absence from work. This wage-replacement package will be based upon the worker's average weekly wage.

Source: siouxcityjournal.com, "Big Ox employee rushed to hospital after another H2S exposure Wednesday", Alex Boisjolie, Dec. 15, 2016

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