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Worker injured in flash fire at chemical plant in Pennsylvania

One of the fundamental responsibilities of an organization is to ensure the safety and security of its workers when they are on the premises of the company. Sadly, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, occasional reports of an industrial accident occur. In some of these incidents, the employer cannot be blamed; but there are often cases when a negligent employer is liable for an on-the-job injury.

Recently, a flash fire broke out at a chemical plant in Saegertown, Pennsylvania. The company, a manufacturer of adhesives and coatings, has not released the identity of the worker, but stated that the worker suffered burns from fire that started during the process of cleaning mixing equipment in the factory. The worker was airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

A spokesperson from the company confirmed later that the incident would be investigated by the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The company also said it believes in maintaining confidentiality while dealing with employee-related matters and therefore would not share details of the worker's injuries. They also stated they would extend their help to the victim and his family. The company reiterated its stance that employee safety was one of its primary concerns and that it was conducting an in-house investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

Work accidents that happen due to fire can be devastating for the victim, often with life-changing consequences. In addition to the pain and suffering the victim endures, the worker and his or her family has to withstand significant financial challenges that emerge as a result of the accident.

However, a worker in Pennsylvania injured in an industrial accident should know that he or she is entitled to workers' compensation benefits. With appropriate legal guidance, an injured worker and his or her family may be able to obtain rightful compensation to help recover from the losses suffered due to medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Source: Meadville Tribune, "OSHA to investigate Lord Corp. fire," Keith Gushard, June 28, 2014

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