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Workplace accident at cosmetics factory kills 1 injures many

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently initiated an investigation in which multiple agencies will take part to determine various aspects of a devastating explosion that took place at a cosmetics manufacturing plant in the town of New Windsor. Reportedly, the workplace accident occurred shortly after 10 a.m. on Nov. 20. Hazmat teams and firefighters rushed to the scene, and a second explosion rocked the facility while rescue workers were inside the burning building.

Authorities say one employee was killed while between 25 and 30 others were injured. During the second explosion, seven firefighters suffered injuries, two of whom had to be rushed to a burn unit. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, this company has been the subject of three investigations in 2012, 2013 and 2016. All those inquiries involved violations related to mismanagement of hazardous energy and flammable liquids, among other safety violations.

Along with OSHA, safety and health experts of the New York State Department of Labor will investigate the possibility of asbestos presence and boiler malfunctions. Additionally, the Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes will examine code compliance. Facility operations, hazardous waste management and chemical storage will be inspected by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The investigations into this workplace accident could take months to complete, but in the meantime, the injured employees may need financial assistance to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Similarly, the surviving family members of the deceased worker will likely struggle to cope with the unanticipated costs of a funeral and burial. Fortunately, the New York workers' compensation insurance program aims to assist those in similar situations and will provide benefits to cover those expenses along with a portion of lost wages.

Source: ehstoday.com, "Explosion Kills Worker, Injures Dozens at NY Cosmetics Company", Sandy Smith, Nov. 21, 2017

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