Everyone deserves to feel safe at their place of employment. Whether you spend your days in a cubical or work in road construction, your employer should always be looking out for you, making sure you are well-trained and equipped with adequate protections. Unfortunately, some employers prefer to save time and money rather than ensure the safety of their workers. When this happens, workers can end up seriously injured or worse.

On Monday, a tragic workplace accident caused the death of a Pennsylvania worker. The employee of Brownies Oil Co. was welding something at an industrial park in Mercer County when a nearby fuel oil tank exploded.

Although it is not clear what the worker was welding, the fire department chief said he died of blunt-force trauma. After the explosion, 7,500 gallons of fuel leaked out of the 10,000 gallon tank. Fortunately, no one else was injured and firefighters were able to contain the spilled fuel.

As of right now, details about why the fuel tank may have exploded have yet to emerge. Those details, however, will be paramount in ensuring the safety of employees working on that site.

Any time a worker is killed on the job, it is a tragic situation. Although few employers would ever intend for something like this to happen, it is not difficult to see how falling behind on safety standards could cause a serious accident like this one. Hopefully employers in Bristol and throughout Pennsylvania will spend the extra time and money to make sure equipment is well-maintained and employees are properly trained. It could go a long way toward preventing injuries or even death.

Source: Associated Press, “10,000-gallon fuel oil tank explodes at Pa. industrial park, flies across road; 1 worker dies,” Aug. 19, 2013