The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a federal organization dedicated to the safety of all types of workers. After a serious work accident, OSHA often sends representatives to investigate what happened and review the safety practices of the company. If there are violations of OSHA guidelines, the company can face steep fines. One Pennsylvania refinery was recently cited and fined after a work accident involving a fire.
In June 2019, a catastrophic fire broke out at Philadelphia Energy Solutions. An investigation revealed that it was due to the improper handling of a certain chemical that was actually released into the facility. The refinery actually closed and filed for bankruptcy, but it still owes fines of more than $130,000.
According to OSHA, one of the main problems was safety management. There was no written safety protocol for certain operations, and the company did not perform an analysis of the risks involved with tasks. There was also insufficient inspection of safety equipment. At the time of the incident, several workers received medical treatment for various injuries. It appears that no one outside the refinery experienced any negative effects from this chemical-related fire.
A work accident often results in Pennsylvania workers experiencing injuries and financial losses. This refinery fire is an example of how important it is to have adequate safety practices in place, especially when working with hazardous or toxic materials. When an employee does suffer an injury while on the job, the workers’ compensation system typically provides insurance coverage for all necessary medical expenses as well as a financial package for lost income.