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Worker's fall into sulfuric acid causes severe workplace injuries

Workers in all industries face safety hazards everyday; however, some industries have specific areas that require compliance with additional safety regulations. Employers in Oklahoma and elsewhere whose employees work in areas where chemicals and heavy machinery are present have to comply with specific safety regulations that are prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Some employers disregard these regulations in order to speed up processes and improve profitability, but such shortcuts often lead to workplace injuries that end up having an adverse effect on the company's bottom line.

OSHA recently issued several penalties to a company in another state after investigators determined that safety violations caused a worker to fall into a tank containing sulfuric and phosphoric acid. The worker suffered severe internal and facial burn injuries. OSHA found that the walkways above the tanks containing dangerous chemicals were not fitted with railings or the required toeboards that would have prevented such a tragic accident.

Other safety violations included the failure to provide systems that will deactivate machinery while maintenance is in progress. The company also failed to monitor air quality in the confined areas of the tanks where workers had to perform duties. OSHA said the company failed to inform workers about the safety hazards to which they were exposed and provided no safety training to teach employees how to react to emergency situations.

Oklahoma workers who have suffered workplace injuries that resulted from a company's disregard for the safety of its employees may pursue workers' compensation benefit claims. In fact, even if the worker caused his or her own injury, benefits may often be claimed. Medical expenses, lost income and additional compensation for disabilities caused by workplace accidents are typically included in workers' compensation benefits.

Source: ohsonline.com, "OSHA: Management Ignored Hazards after Worker Fell into Acid-filled Tank", Feb. 1, 2015

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