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Georgia worker sustains eye injuries in trash blast

A Georgia refuse worker has regained his vision after he sustained an on-the-job injury while collecting trash. The worker's eyes were damaged when an oxygen tank exploded in the garbage truck. The accident happened in late June in Marietta.

The collection worker's eyes were severely burned when the tank exploded in the back of the truck. The blast removed the top layer of the man's eyes, which were also contaminated with blast debris. He lost his vision entirely at first, but since the accident has regained his vision, first in his left eye. The truck driver also was injured in the explosion, sustaining a deep cut that required stitches to his face.

Local police said that a family was cleaning out the home of a deceased family member and tossed oxygen tanks in with regular refuse. The worker hopes that his workplace accident gets the attention of residents so that they know to dispose of dangerous items properly. He says that the safety of sanitation workers depends on the people who are disposing of their trash.

Workers who sustain on-the-job injuries may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits under Georgia state law. These benefits can include medical expenses and lost wages as well as rehabilitation costs when workers cannot return to their pre-injury jobs. In severe cases, they may qualify for Social Security disability. If the state workers' compensation program denies the injured employee's claim or any benefits, a workers' compensation attorney may be able to advise him about his options and see that his interests are protected during the claim process.

Source: Waste & Recycling News, "Georgia collection worker injured in oxygen tank blast recovering", Jennifer Kalish, July 02, 2013

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