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Two Workers Exposed to Chemical Gases Were Rushed to Hospital

Date:  March 22, 2012
Location: 7200 N.W. Front Avenue, Portland
Names:  Not yet released

Two workers at Wacker Siltronics in Northwest Portland were rushed to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Thursday night after they were exposed to potentially deadly chemical gases. The two men were doing maintenance work inside a chemical reactor when an explosion occurred at around 9 p.m.

According to the report on KOIN Local 6, the 56-year-old and 58-year-old men were carrying out routine maintenance inside the reactor when oxygen suddenly got inside, causing a chemical know as trichlorosilane to ignite. This released large levels of trichlorethylene gas, which can affect the nervous system, liver or lungs and can cause an abnormal heartbeat. If enough gas is inhaled, victims can go into a coma and die.

The two men were assessed at the scene by members of Portland Fire and Rescue before being taken to Legacy Emanuel with respiratory difficulties. One also complained of skin irritation. Both are expected to recover.

We would like to wish the two injured workers a full and speedy recovery after what must have been a very frightening ordeal.

Oregon factories can be full of hazards to workers, and a maintenance worker’s job can be extremely dangerous.

Common examples of accidents at work include:

  • Loss of limb (hand, finger, foot, leg)
  • Brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burn injuries, including chemical burns
  • Electric shock or electrocution
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.

It is important that manufacturing companies are held accountable for unsafe workplace conditions, and that they pay for any negligence. Oregon factory workers who are injured on the job may be compensated for medical bills, physical therapy, time spent out of work, etc., and an Oregon workplace accident attorney can help injured parties through the legal process.

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