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Occupational Hazards: Recycling Center Fire Takes A Life In Anderson

South Carolina offers a wide variety of jobs to its residents. It’s what brings so many new faces to our state and keeps so many families here. The unfortunate truth, however, is that some of these jobs are quite dangerous. But as personal injury lawyers in Greenville, we believe that just because an occupation has inherent hazards, doesn’t mean workers have to risk their lives. That’s why at Harris & Graves we feel it’s important to share stories of workplace accidents here on our blog.

Anderson was the setting for our state’s most recent work-related tragedy, and you most likely heard about it on the news. A massive fire broke out at OmniSource, a metal recycling center, sending black clouds of smoke into the air that could been seen for miles.

Inside, workers were rushing to get out while the crushed cars and other machines burned. Unfortunately, two workers were unable to escape the blaze. One worker was operating a baler when the fire broke out and was unable to escape the machine as the flames quickly grew out of control. Another worker courageously tried to help him but ended up seriously burned himself. He survived; the baler operator did not.

Local residents were also concerned that the billowing smoke could contain dangerous toxins. The Anderson Fire Department wanted to ensure the public that wasn’t the case. “We have Anderson County Hazmat Team, they’re here. DHEC is here. And they are working together and we are monitoring the air.

This story of tragedy is actually at the end of a long list of problems for OmniSource. The same plant had a smaller fire spark there three weeks ago and an even bigger fire back in 2011. Another South Carolina OmniSource plant in Spartanburg was even the setting for a metal fire just last month.

As Greenville personal injury lawyers, we believe that OmniSource has a lot to answer for when it comes to the safety of their workers.