Two recent industrial accidents have put Pennsylvania employers in the headlines once again.
Earlier this month an explosion at copper manufacturer Hussey Copper Ltd. in Leetsdale, PA, injured three workers. Spilled water during the copper-making process caused a "back flash" of steam, water and fire, burning the three employees. One injured employee's burns were so severe that he was flown to a medical center in Pittsburgh.
Investigators noted that the explosion was relatively minor; the plant was not evacuated and continued with normal operations later that day.
It is not the copper manufacturer's first brush with an industrial explosion. Five workers were injured in 2000 when molten copper came in contact with water, causing a similar explosion. According to government records, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined the company almost $60,000 over the last decade for safety violations. The company has also been fined for lack of personal protective equipment. It is unknown if it will be fined for this incident, but OSHA is investigating.
Also earlier this month, a worker was injured after being trapped under a piece of heavy machinery at a strip mining operation near Wadesville. The industrial accident occurred on property owned by anthracite coal mining company Reading Anthracite Co.
It took about a half an hour to extricate the worker from under the equipment. He was flown via helicopter to a medical center in Allentown where he was treated for his injuries. It is unknown whether OSHA is investigating the company's strip mining operation.
Sources: Explosion at Hussey Copper in Leetsdale hurts three; Man trapped under equipment at Wadesville flown from scene