St. Peters, MO, (Law Firm Newswire) August 24, 2015 - One man was killed and another injured during an explosion at USA Metal Recycling in Neosho, Missouri, on June 15.
The blast was caused at around 3:30 a.m. by an explosive device in a pile of empty military shell casings that were scheduled to be recycled at the facility, according to city authorities.
Of the two men handling the aluminum casings, Cody D. Brisco, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Tyler Spencer, 23, was taken to a nearby hospital with moderate injuries. While working, the two men “discovered what turned out to be an explosive device, though they were not aware of its nature. They were examining the device when it detonated,” the city said in a statement.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now investigating the incident as a workplace accident and trying to determine its cause. They noted that recycling work can be hazardous due to the facilities’ confined spaces, the risk of fire and exposure to harmful chemicals. OSHA has so far documented nine workplace fatalities in Missouri in 2015, including Brisco’s death.
“Every employee has the right to a safe workplace. It is imperative that employers follow workplace safety measures at all times,” said Charles James, a prominent attorney in St. Peters, Missouri, whose firm specializes in personal injury law. “City governments should evaluate the health and safety records of recycling companies and require them to enforce comprehensive worker safety programs.”
According to a recent study by the University of Illinois School of Public Health, recycling workers are twice as likely to be injured at work when compared to average workers, raising questions about the safety of recycling jobs. From 2011 to 2013, 17 recycling workers died on the job in the United States.
Neosho fire chief Mike Eads said the explosive device should not have been in the shell casings that were being recycled, while stating he had been unaware that the company handled such items.
“In this case, authorities are still investigating who is to blame for the accident. However, if you have suffered a serious injury at your workplace due to carelessness or wrongful conduct by your employer, you are entitled to seek fair compensation for the damage caused. Consulting an attorney experienced in handling workers’ compensation claims is essential in such circumstances,” said James.
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