Incidents were reported at two neighboring plants in Long Beach, California just days apart earlier this week. The first incident caused a stir in East Long Beach when members of the community heard a loud noise followed by a disturbing noises emanating from the AES Alamitos Generating Station steam plant.
A broken pipe released steam, causing personnel at the plant to quickly work to contain the situation. A pipe burst, and workers reportedly followed safety procedures to shut down the unit. It does not appear that any workers were injured in the incident, which was reported around 7:45 in the morning last Wednesday. A company spokesman reported that all workers were accounted for and safe after the workplace accident, according to the Long Beach Post.
However, tragedy was reported just days later at a nearby, unaffiliated plant. Workers found a 60-year-old worker dead around 1:30 Saturday morning at the Haynes Generating Station, which operates in a location adjacent to the Alamitos steam power plant. The Haynes plant, a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power facility, is under construction to remedy environmental concerns surrounding the use of ocean water to cool the natural gas steam power plant.
It is not clear how the LADWP worker died. He was found in an area that is removed from the renovation project at the plant. The facility continued to generate power during the renovation. A general manager with the LADWP facility says that the loss of the worker is a tragedy for the LADWP family and the worker's own family. An investigation into the cause of the worker's death is underway-an autopsy is also planned to discover further information.
Workplace accidents and occupational illnesses can occur in any type of industry. Most people know that industrial plants, the construction industry and occupations that involve the use of heavy machinery can involve a high level of risk for workers. However, the workers' compensation system is in place to provide benefits for workers injured on the job, regardless of risk-and without the need to prove negligence leading to a workplace injury.
- Long Beach Post, "Worker Found Dead at Haynes Generating Station," Sarah Bennett, March 25, 2013
- Long Beach Post, "Ruptured Pipe At AES Plant Causes Giant Steam Plume, Partial Shutdown," Sarah Bennett, March 20, 2013