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Pennsylvania contractor at center of explosion investigation

At explosion at a residential neighborhood left one woman dead and seven workers injured. Though the exact cause of the blast remains under investigation, officials say a Pennsylvania-based contractor, Henkels & McCoy, hit a gas line when they were drilling to fix an electrical issue. The contractor may also be in trouble for how it handled the situation. Officials say the contractor should have called 911 before allowing other workers on the scene, but it is not certain this step was taken. This is not the first time Henkels & McCoy has been in trouble. Last year OSHA fined the company $42,000 for several serious safety violations including failing to have proper inspections.

Every day, Pennsylvanians put their livelihood on the line for their employers. In return, these workers rightly expect their workplace to be free of hazardous conditions. Even if dangerous conditions arise, which may be discovered by an OSHA inspection, workers expect them to be remedied. Employers who fail to live up to these expectations place their workers at serious risk of harm.

Those who suffer a workplace injury caused by unsafe working conditions are often left with unnecessary pain and suffering. They may suffer broken bones, burns or muscle injuries that can leave them immobilized and unable to work. As a result, these workers may be unable to afford needed medical care and other bills like rent and utilities.

Thought the workers' compensation process should help these workers recoup their losses, it can be fraught with complications. A Pennsylvania attorney can assist these injured individuals fight for the compensation they deserve. If successful, then the worker may recover money for medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. Additionally, a successful claim may send a loud message to an employer that safety steps should be taken to prevent similar workplace accidents from occurring in the future.

Source: The Inquirer, "Woman killed in explosion identified as resident," Michael Boren, Mar. 6, 2014

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