Man dies in Nufarm plant explosion

Man dies in Nufarm plant explosion

12:01 PM, 17th June 2011
Man dies in Nufarm plant explosion

VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: A worker was killed when a pipe burst and sprayed him with toxic chemicals in a horrific workplace accident at Nufarm’s Laverton factory recently.

Police said the man in his 50s was working on pipes outside the factory on Pipe Road in Laverton North when one exploded about 11.20 am.

The man is believed to have been doused in phenol or carbolic acid and swallowed some of the liquid. Paramedics said the man rushed to a shower to wash himself down but collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

His colleagues dragged him out of the shower and began CPR until paramedics arrived, however he was unable to be saved.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman Paul Bentley said the man’s colleagues - two men and three women - were also assessed by paramedics after coming into contact with the man.

One of those, a 40-year-old man, suffered chemcial burns to his arms from trying to save his colleague.

“Paramedics put a gel burns dressing on those injuries and the gel dressing helps reduce the sting, severity and reduce infection,” said Bentley.

The man was taken to Western Hospital in Footscray in a stable condition. The other four did not require medical treatment.

WorkSafe spokesman Michael Birt said safety investigators were at the site.

He said the man was believed to have been doused in phenol. Nufarm manufactures and markets phenoxies, a class of herbicides that control and eradicate broad-leafed weeds. Birt said the man’s death was the third work-related death in Victoria in the past month, and the sixth this year.

(C) The Age

 

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