For industrial workers in Pittsburgh and greater Pennsylvania, the risk
of being injured on the job is ever-present. An
industrial accident can result in serious injuries, or lead to a chronic illness or permanent
disability, along with medical bills, costs for rehabilitation and the
expenses of retraining to return to work.
Recently, grocery store warehouse workers were evacuated from a plant in
eastern Pennsylvania after a carbon monoxide leak at the facility. According
to investigators, a great deal of carbon monoxide was discovered in the
area where batteries for the warehouse's forklifts are charged. A
fire alarm at the plant brought firefighters to the scene, where they
determined that the dangerous gas had leaked into the building. The workers
left the plant and no serious injuries were reported, although 18 were
sent to the hospital for evaluation. The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration is conducting an investigation.
Though the workers involved in the recent carbon monoxide leak may have
avoided serious injury, in many cases, industrial workers are not so fortunate.
Often, symptoms of exposure to a toxic gas or fumes do not arise for some
time after the initial contact. While an investigation by OSHA can lead
to citations and fines for an employer that fails to observe workplace
safety standards, for industrial workers injured on the job, future health
issues may arise long after penalties issued by OSHA have been paid.
Whether they are immediately aware of their injuries, or the harm only
becomes apparent after some time, workers' compensation benefits can
provide injured workers with a means of financial support during rehabilitation
and recovery. Obtaining a medical evaluation is often one of the first
steps in the process, so that the extent of injuries to a worker can be
determined. Ultimately, benefits can cover medical bills, costs for physical
therapy, and other expenses stemming from a work related injury.
Pennsylvania industrial workers face hazards on the job every day. For
those who are injured at their workplace, workers' compensation benefits
can cover the costs for treatment of their symptoms and allow them to
stay financially afloat during recovery.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, "18 evaluated after CO leak at Pa. warehouse,"
Sept. 24, 2012