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Factory accident death leads to OSHA fine for Pennsylvania firm

In October of 2012, an independent contractor was working with employees of Glassport-based Tube City IMS at the Nucor Steel plant in Norfolk, Nebraska, when an accident took his life. He and the Tube City employees were there to dismantle and salvage an old piece of equipment for Nucor at the time of the factory accident, which occurred when the man and two other Tube City employees were in a pay loader and attempting to remove a steel counterweight, which broke loose and hit the victim, another worker and the pay loader they were standing in. One employee was injured, and the independent contractor was killed and pronounced dead at the scene.

After an investigation of the factory accident by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Tube City was recently fined $14,000 and cited for exposing its employees to workplace hazards. It has 15 days to contest or accept the fine and citations.

Recent OSHA statistics show that in 2011, 4 million workers were injured in on-the-job accidents and more than 4,600 workers were killed in such accidents. This statistic equates to 13 workers dying and almost 11,000 workers being injured each day in on-the-job accidents. While significant improvements have been made in workplace safety over the last few decades, factory accidents and other workplace incidents are still too common in American industry.

All workers who are injured on the job, however, are entitled to compensation for their injuries, and there are options for the partner and family of a deceased worker as well. After a workplace accident, injury or fatality, a personal injury attorney with experience in representing factory workers and machine operators may be a valuable resource in seeking financial compensation for injuries and fatalities to help workers and their families pay for the often hefty expenses associated with severe injuries or death.

Source: Journal Star, "Company cited for worker's death", Feb. 14, 2013

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