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Pennsylvania chemical company cited for safety violations

A chemical distribution company in Reading has received a citation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for an alleged 14 violations and has been assessed fines totaling $64,665. The company was inspected as part of the National Emphasis Program focusing on chemical companies and distributors. OSHA claims the company had 13 serious violations that could lead to injuries and workers' compensation claims, including inadequate chemical hazard protection and lack of safety precautions that might prevent dangerous falls.

Process safety management is the term applied to prevention of catastrophic spills or releases of toxic chemicals, according to OSHA. The agency alleges that the company has jeopardized its workers' safety by failing to effectively implement the standards for process safety management. The company was also cited for a minor electrical cord placement violation.

When companies fail to provide a safe work environment for employees, accidents can and do happen. Some of these accidents are minor, but others can be very serious. In the case of chemical companies, a single mishap could result in serious consequences not only for workers but for residents around the plant, especially if toxic chemicals are released into the air or water.

Employees who have been injured in a work-related accident may benefit from the help of a workers' compensation attorney. Although it is possible to file a claim without the help of an attorney, many workers find that legal representation may enable them to obtain compensation to which they are entitled with less problem than if they try to file these claims alone.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Pennsylvania chemical distributor receives 14 violations," March 26, 2013

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