A recent incident of flooding has garnered attention. The rupture of a water main in Los Angeles, California, caught national attention as tens of millions of gallons of water poured through the campus and flooded streets, buildings and parking garages. However, several people responding to the scene have now reportedly suffered a work injury related to trying to get control of the flooding.
Workers were operating generators to pump out the water from a building. At the athletic center, several workers were exposed to harmful exhaust fumes from those generators. Two of the workers needed to be hospitalized from the exposure, and four other workers were treated on the scene for exposure to the fumes.
Water from the flooding is also now being monitored. There are concerns that water that flooded parking garages could be mixed with gasoline or other toxins. This could make the water explosive or harmful for everyone around. It is unclear how serious the exposure was that led to the men needing medical care.
Whenever workers in California suffer from a work injury, they should seek medical care as needed and as soon as possible. Those workers also should be fully aware of the workers' compensation rights they have according to law and how those rights can protect them from acquiring medical bills related to the work injury they suffered. Workers' compensation rights and benefits can also help an injured worker avoid the negative ramifications of lost wages if they miss work for medical treatment or ongoing treatment as needed to deal with the injury.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Six workers injured at UCLA while pumping floodwater", Joseph Serna, July 31, 2014