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    :: Thursday, August 23, 2007 ::

    Pipe fitter hit with steam sues Total for lung injury - By David Yates, Southeast Texas Record
    "He was working as a pipe fitter in a pipe rack on a scaffold located by the CAT and Regeneration Unit near a 10-inch steam blow down line," the suit said. "His job involved installing a windbreak located about 8 inches from the blow down line. At the time of the accident, he was installing a fire blanket. He was wearing Nomex and all other required safety equipment."

    The suit goes on to say Total retained the right to control the work area and issued a permit Dietz's employer authorizing him to begin his job.

    "The Total operator knew that Dietz was working in the area of the steam blow down line," the suit said. "The wind shifted and steam blew from the blow down line to Tim Dietz's location."

    Dietz inhaled a gust of steam, jerked back and incurred third-degree burns in and around his throat, suffering "thermal injuries" to his respiratory system, the suit said.

    "As a result of the accident, Dietz sustained not only third-degree burns to his facial area, but also incurred permanent injuries to his lungs," the suit said.

    Dietz, a non-smoker, underwent a pulmonary function study and was told that his lungs were severely compromised, reflecting the "lungs of a 65-year-old man," the suit said.
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