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Ethanol worker's death highlights need for plant safety

The state of Iowa is the nation's number one leading producer of ethanol. This fact is a source of pride for many Iowan workers. While our state is the nation's leader in renewable fuels, we should also be concerned with the safety of ethanol workers.

Just across the Iowa border in Hudson, South Dakota, a 38-year-old pipefitter died as a result of fatal burn injuries at an ethanol plant. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued five serious safety violations earlier this month to the employer as a result of the worker's death.

Ethanol fires are the most well-known occupational safety hazards in the industry. OSHA cited the plant for failing to inform contractors of ethanol processing risks, failure to implement written shutdown procedures and failure to ensure safe work practices. The facility and employer were fined nearly $100,000 by OSHA for the worker's death.

As demonstrated by the story above, ethanol fires are dangerous and can result in life-threatening injuries. The law allows employees and their loved ones to seek worker's compensation claims against an employer for injuries suffered in the workplace.

Taking on a company that otherwise provided a livelihood for your family can be a daunting task. With the help of a workman's compensation and personal injury attorney who understands your physical pain and emotional stress, you can gain access to the care you deserve.

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