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OSHA cites Indiana County contractor for fatal accident

When employers in Pennsylvania fail to pay attention to safety in their workplaces, they put their workers at an unacceptably high risk of injury and death. For that reason both the federal and state governments mandate that companies follow rules and regulations that derive from decades of experience to keep workers safe.

Recently, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a paving contractor in Indiana County for 17 safety violations – nine of them serious – that may have led to the death of a 45-year-old worker in October of 2013 in Blairsville, 40 miles east of Pittsburgh. If the citations are upheld, the contractor will have to pay a $23,800 fine.

OSHA reports indicate the accident happened while the victim and a foreman were cleaning the interior of a large industrial vacuum tank on a tanker truck. Apparently the foreman, who was operating a hydraulic door system, accidentally closed the tank’s back door and pinned the victim between the door and the truck frame. The injured worker, who was rushed to a Pittsburgh hospital, died 4 days later.

Not all workplace accidents are fatal, but even a minor injury sustained in an industrial accident can lead to pain and suffering, huge medical bills, extended recovery periods and sudden financial problems due to lost income. Any worker who suffers an on-the-job injury in Pennsylvania is eligible to receive medical benefits, permanent and temporary disability benefits and benefits for specific losses and disfigurements. Relatives of those killed may also receive death benefits.

Source:, “Indiana County paving contractor could be fined in fatal accident,” Paul Peirce, April 22, 2014


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