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Pennsylvania ranks fifth in hazardous material accidents


Although a necessary occupation to have in society, the lives of workers who regularly handle hazardous materials on the job are hardly desirable. Not only are they subject to different types of long-term occupational illness from prolonged exposure, but they also run a risk of losing their lives or suffering grave injury in an accident. This is why victims of work-related illnesses, occupational disease or on-the-job accidents must be aware of remedies available to them over and above workers' compensation.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the country in the number of hazardous material spills and accidents occurring during transportation on highways, railroads, waterways and planes. Given the high volume of hazardous materials that are stored and transported in Pennsylvania, perhaps such a high number of accidents is not entirely avoidable.

Pennsylvania's history of hazardous spills is a costly one, both from a financial and human angle. In the last 14 years, more than $34 million has been spent in cleanup efforts and, certainly more tragically, one person was killed and 86 injured.

The potential for injury or death from these accidents is why transporters of hazardous materials are mandated to submit spillage reports to the federal government. This is so the authorities can track unsafe transporters and repeat offenders and take appropriate enforcement actions.

When working with hazardous materials, workplace injuries can take place. When they do, injured workers need to know the governing laws of Pennsylvania - specifically, their right to recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and damages. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, it is possible to navigate the potentially difficult period after an accident and receive the compensation you may deserve.

Source: Newsworks, "Pennsylvania Fifth in the Nation in Hazardous Spills," Natasha Khan, Feb. 19, 2014

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