California residents that are unfamiliar with the workings of ranches and farms may not realize the potential dangers that exist for workers. Large pieces of equipment and flammable materials seem to be staples in modern ranching and farming. Workers employed by farms and ranches may understand the potential exists to be killed or seriously injured on the job and rely on their employers to make their work environment as safe as possible.

Firefighters in central California recently responded to a call at a ranch where a gas tank exploded. The explosion killed one worker. Two others suffered serious enough injuries that emergency personnel called for a medical helicopter to transport the victims to an area hospital. Reports of their current conditions were not available at the time of this writing.

Many questions regarding the incident remain unanswered. What the men were working on when the gas tank exploded is one of those questions. Expectations are that the investigation will involve Cal/OSHA. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the ranch could face fines and citations for safety violations that may have led to this accident.

Another unanswered question is whether the three employees worked directly for the ranch or were employed by a labor service. Regardless, the two employees injured on the job are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover their medical costs and related expenses as well as a portion of the income lost during their recovery. The family of the deceased worker may seek death benefits to cover funeral and other expenses, including a lost income package for the benefit of the worker’s dependents.

Source: firefightingnews.com,One Killed, Two Injured In Explosion, No author, Dec. 12, 2013