CA Workplace Accident: Chemical Leak Hospitalizes 43 Woodland Cannery Workers

08/22/2011 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Sacramento, CA — Over 40 Woodland cannery employees were hospitalized after a chemical used for processing tomatoes leaked into a work area. The chemical leak occurred just after noon on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at Pacific Coast Producers, reported the Sacramento Bee.

According to officials, close to 800 to 1,000 Pacific Coast Producers employees were evacuated and 43 employees were transported to Sacramento area hospitals, including two employees who were seriously affected by the gas—chlorine dioxide.

A dozen ambulances were called to the plant to transport 22 employees to hospitals for treatment. The remaining 21 employees were transported to hospitals by bus.

Company spokeswoman Mona Shulman said chlorine dioxide leaked into the work area in the form of “off-gassing,” apparently when an injection system carrying the gas became overloaded, reported the Sacramento Bee.

The chemical is injected during processing, which helps to “keep the water and tomatoes sanitary as they go into canning,” Shulman stated.

Pacific Coast Producers reportedly is paying for all medical care related expenses as a result of the chemical leak. Shulman also stated that anyone who misses work as a result of the exposure is eligible for worker’s compensation.

A full investigation into the chemical leak is underway.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California workplace accident lawyers.

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