Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania worker dies after falling into vat

A Pennsylvania worker apparently died after falling from a catwalk and into a large vat used for the processing of sugar. The worker's body was not discovered until later after the worker was reported as being missing.

The worker was described as being in his 40s. Currently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are in the process of investigating what occurred.

Though the circumstances of this incident are somewhat unique, there is so much activity at any worksite that work-related accidents can occur in a large variety of ways. For factory workers in particular there is the possibility of falls, injuries while using machinery, chemical exposure and other types of industrial accidents.

It should not be assumed that proving how an accident such as this occurred is simple to do. Even demonstrating how the above accident occurred may prove to be challenging. There were no witnesses to what occurred, and we be not be entirely sure why the worker was on the catwalk at the time that the accident occurred.

The difference for those injured while on the job as opposed to being injured outside of work, is that workers' compensation laws do not necessarily require a proving of fault for an individual to recover. However, workers' compensation laws are often difficult to understand, and it sometimes requires an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to understand all that is required in the making of a claim.

What's particularly disturbing about the above accident is that it wasn't discovered until questions were raised about the location of the worker. Employers do need to implement safety procedures to avoid being held liable in cases such as this.

Source: Daily Local News, "Pa. sugar plant worker killed after fall into vat," Feb. 25, 2013

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