DANGEROUS CHEMICAL BURNS SANITATION WORKER
Residents reminded of proper disposal of hazardous waste
Lafayette, LA – After a Republic Services sanitation employee was burned by sulfuric acid while working in Scott, Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) Environmental Quality Manager Bess Foret reminds residents that chemicals should never be disposed of in trash cans. “This man’s chemical burn was preventable. Residents should keep in mind that hazardous waste requires special care, not only for human health, but also to protect the land, water, and animals.
The Lafayette Fire Department Hazardous Materials Division determined the chemical was sulfuric acid, and Republic Services Operation Manager John Brown said the accident happened on Tuesday as the employee loaded carts onto a flatbed truck. He received third degree burns on his left arm from his elbow to his wrist and parts of his hand. “He’s still in the hospital but in good spirits,” Brown said.
Fire Department Public Information Officer Alton Trahan said, “Sulfuric acid is highly corrosive, and our concern is making sure that residents know that chemicals can cause serious injuries and are harmful once in contact with skin. They should always be disposed of properly.”
Foret advises to read product labels for safety information. “They will have valuable information on specific hazards, such as flammability, reactivity, health risks, and disposal recommendations. Taking proper care of chemicals around the home protects us as well as the safety of sanitation staff,” she said.
Lafayette Consolidated Government holds Household Hazardous Waste Day twice a year for residents in the city of Lafayette and unincorporated areas. The next one is scheduled to take place on November 20.