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Company says equipment involved in fatal accident safe

A recent incident in Pennsylvania claimed the life of the global director of research and development for the Mersen USA Group. The victim had been visiting a plant in the city of St. Marys when an oven exploded, killing him and injuring two others.

The general manager of the plant said that the accident had been caused by a human error, rather than by the use of unsafe equipment. He went on to say that the explosion occurred when someone incorrectly placed certain material into a curing oven that was otherwise safe.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident but its findings may not be published for months. The result of the agency's inquiry may give more insight into the cause of the accident and may determine whether or not employernegligence or the negligent operation of machinery played a role.

A victim of a workplace accident, such as those that occurred at the Pennsylvania plant, may have a choice of recourses. The medical expenses associated with the treatment of such injuries can be very high. Workers' compensation statutes are in place to provide certain forms of compensation, including reimbursement of medical expenses and partial recovery of lost wages, to an injured worker regardless of whose fault caused the incident. A workers' compensation attorney can determine whether coverage is available and assist in the preparation and perfection of a claim. If it is determined that the injuries were incurred as a result of the negligent or willful act of the employer or a third party, then a personal injury action may be able to be maintained. An attorney with experience in these areas can explain the differences between the two proceedings in terms of the types and measure of damages that can be recovered.

Source: WJAC, "Elk Co. company blames human error of deadly blast", April 03, 2014

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