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California refinery fire results in thousands of claims

California oil refineries provide a great deal of gasoline used on the West Coast. They also provide substantial employment for industrial workers in local areas. Workplace unpredictability is higher in most industrial conditions than in average working conditions. However, considering the nature of the refinement process, refining companies need to have more precautionary efforts in place to ensure the safety of workers and the community at large. In a recent example, a fire has caused numerous health hazards.

Earlier this month, a fire broke out at a California-based oil refinery. This sent plumes of smoke and toxic gases into the air and into the lungs of workers and nearby residents. Claims of health problems have been coming in by the thousands as a direct relation to the fumes produced.

Nausea and sore throats are the most common symptoms reported; however, the traumatic nature of this catastrophe could lead to lasting psychological effects as well. Airborne toxins like this can cause health problems for years, and it is understandable to seek compensation for resulting medical expenses. As this will affect many workers job stability for an undetermined amount of time, medical expenses will compound the loss of income due to maintenance at the facility.

Industrial workers especially need to be familiar with their rights concerning applicable workers’ compensation benefits. When someone is injured by working conditions, an experienced voice of assistance can add to the well being and recovery of the individual.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “1,000-plus file claims against California refinery,” Associated Press, Aug. 9, 2012