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Louisville worker killed in plant accident

Plants are inherently dangerous facilities due to the industrial equipment and nature of the businesses. Workers realize that they are at risk of accidents and injuries each time they walk through those doors to start a shift.

Last Thursday, Feb. 15, one LLC employee arrived for the last shift that he ever worked. The man was killed in an unspecified accident at the Bells Lane facility located in the Rubbertown neighborhood in West Louisville.

The plant manufactures calcium carbide, a substance used in the production of acetylene gas, a staple in both the construction and metal fabrication industries. As one of the few calcium carbide manufacturers on the continent of North America, Carbide Industries has had a presence in Louisville since 1941.

Shortly after the fatality occurred, the human resources director for the company addressed the tragic accident in an official statement, which reads, in part:

"Carbide Industries LLC is sad to report one of its employees was fatally injured this morning . . . The company takes employee safety very seriously and is working with government authorities to determine the cause of this incident."

History

Back in March of 2011, Carbide Industries had a major explosion at the plant, injuring numerous workers and killing two. Although neighbors living in the vicinity of the plant had concerns about toxic emissions from the facility, they still rebuilt in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Even though plant employees work in environments that pose higher-than-average safety hazards, most go about their duties without harm and leave unscathed at the end of their shifts. When safety breaches occur or there is lax enforcement of rules and regulations designed to keep workers and the community at large safe, it ups the ante on hazardous incidents occurring.

Workplace injuries can range from minor burns and contusions to amputations, crushing injuries and fatalities. Many injured workers can no longer work to support themselves and their families. When workers who were also family breadwinners are killed in on-the-job accidents, entire families' lives can be disrupted because the wage-earner is no longer alive to provide.

While there is no sum of money that could ever take the place of a beloved family member's presence in the lives of the spouse and children, there is, however, a path to civil justice and compensation. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the Kentucky courts can bring much-needed financial relief to desperate families and provide them with a small measure of closure.

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Ewing & Willis
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