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OSHA issues citation, levies fine against Pennsylvania factory

Following an explosion in January that left one man dead and another injured at a Pennsylvania factory, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has completed its investigation, concluding that the blast occurred when a worker placed flammable parts into an oven that was not rated to handle material of that type. On July 29, the federal agency issued a citation and proposed that the plant pay a fine of $7,000.

OSHA also included recommendations for improved worker safety at the Pittsburgh plant, which manufactures parts for electrical power applications. Among the agency's recommendations were prohibiting workers from using ovens that could not handle flammable parts and training employees about hazards associated with heating such parts. The 52-year-old man who was killed in the Jan. 30 explosion was the global director for research and development for the company while the injured man was a production supervisor.

A workplace injury can lead to a long time away from work or even result in an individual never being able to work again. Alternatively, an individual might be only be able to return to work on a part-time basis or in a different position. Even if a full recovery eventually happens, the injuries can be costly and lead to a long period of rehabilitation, during which the injured person may not earn any income.

Workers' compensation may provide some assistance with these costs; however, an individual may still wish to consult an attorney if he or she believes an employer acted maliciously against them or negligently retained a dangerous coworker. In some jurisdictions, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit against an employer in lieu of filing a workers' compensation claim. Whether a co-worker, a company or both are at fault, there might be multiple legal avenues available for seeking a settlement that may ensure financial security for an injured individual and his or her family.

Source: The Republic, "OSHA says worker wrongly put parts coated with flammables into oven before fatal explosion", Joe Mandak, August 14, 2014

Source: The Republic, "OSHA says worker wrongly put parts coated with flammables into oven before fatal explosion", Joe Mandak, August 14, 2014

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