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Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy Dies in Chemical Leak While Responding to Alarm, OSHA Investigating the Scene

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2017 | Georgia Work Accidents |

Earlier this month, a tragic accident took the life of a veteran sheriff’s deputy in Augusta, Georgia. According to one local news report covering the accident, the sheriff’s deputy was responding to an alarm that was sent out from a local sperm bank for a nitrogen leak. Evidently, the deputy arrived on the scene before the fire department or hazmat team and entered the location.

By the time the hazmat team arrived about 30 minutes later, rescuers discovered the deputy’s body lying on the floor. A female employee of the sperm bank was also unconscious. Rescuers removed the two and transported them to the hospital, but sadly the sheriff’s deputy was pronounced dead a short time later. The cause of death was listed as inhaling an unknown chemical substance. Two other deputies were also taken to the hospital, and they are expected to recover.

Following the tragic news of the accident, Georgia’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration opened an investigation into the chemical leak. The investigation is ongoing, and no results have yet been made public.

On-the-Job Accidents in Georgia

Many jobs across the State of Georgia present daily risks for employees, even when the utmost care is taken by both the employee and the employer. In the example discussed above, both the sheriff’s deputy as well as the sperm bank’s employee were injured while performing two very different jobs. The bottom line is that any job has a risk of injury, and even though that risk is usually well-managed, sometimes accidents occur.

When a workplace accident does occur, the injured worker will likely miss weeks or possibly months of work while recovering. This can put an economic strain on even the most financially savvy household. Thankfully, Georgia law allows for injured workers to obtain benefits after a majority of workplace accidents through the workers’ compensation program. While completing a workers’ compensation application is in no way a guarantee of benefits, the program does help a significant number of injured employees obtain the benefits they need and deserve while they recover from their workplace injury.

Some injuries are more serious than others, and those workers who suffer life-long injuries or illnesses may be entitled to long-term workers’ compensation benefits. In situations in which a worker was killed in a workplace accident, the surviving family members may be entitled to long-term benefits. To learn more about the Georgia workers’ compensation program, contact a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney today.

Have You Been Hurt on the Job?

If you or a loved one has recently suffered a serious workplace accident, and you would like to see if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, reach out to an attorney at J. Franklin Burns, P.C. Attorney Burns and his colleagues have ample experience preparing a wide variety of workers’ compensation claims and are prepared to appeal any unfavorable decision on behalf of their clients. Call 404-920-4708 to set up a free consultation today to discuss how you may be able to obtain benefits while you or your loved one recovers from an on-the-job accident.