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Workplace accidents: Engulfment by fertilizer kills 1 worker

Loading and unloading of any product can be hazardous. Workers in the agricultural industry in New York and other states may be very aware of engulfment hazards, and many might have lost coworkers in such workplace accidents. Deputies in another state recently reported the death of a worker who was engulfed by granular fertilizer.

Reportedly, a 50-year-old man and some coworkers were offloading fertilizer and directing it into a hopper — a covered train car. Investigators will likely determine the exact circumstances, and initial reports were merely speculation. Reportedly, two workers were busy at the hopper when the fertilizer apparently stopped flowing because of lumps that formed due to the damp weather. Somehow, the one worker landed inside the hopper.

Coworkers tried to prevent the fertilizer from covering him, but their efforts were in vain. Emergency workers arrived and launched a rescue attempt, but soon found that it would be a recovery rather than a rescue. The fertilizer engulfed the employee, leaving him unable to breathe. It is not clear whether the man entered the hopper to remove the blockage, or whether he fell into it.

New York families who have lost loved ones in workplace accidents may find comfort knowing that there is assistance available to ease the unanticipated financial burdens. They can pursue compensation for end-of-life expenses and a portion of lost income to assist with day-to-day living expenses. They must file death benefits claims with the workers’ compensation insurance program to receive financial assistance. If the prospect of navigating such a claim seems overwhelming at this difficult time, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can handle the process on behalf of the dependents of the deceased employee.

Source:, “Man killed in Lakeville workplace accident“, Nina Porciuncula, Jan. 26, 2017

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