Workplace safety is important to many employers throughout Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, accidents resulting in injuries of varying severity do occur. Some accidents involve motor vehicles, others slipping and falling. Another all too common type of accident occurs when objects fall on a worker.
An industrial accident of this type occurred earlier this month in Beaver County. According to Harmony Township Police Chief, the worker was hurt when steel pipes broke away from the bed of his truck, crushing him. The pipes apparently came loose when the straps the man was using to secure the load broke. The accident occurred at IPSCO Koppel Tubulars.
Immediately following the accident, others who were onsite got the pipes off of the man. When the paramedics arrived, the man was taken via helicopter to UPMC Mercy. While the extent of the man's injuries is not currently known, because the weight of the load that engulfed him was estimated to be around 7,000 pounds, they were likely quite serious.
The Harmony Township police have reportedly completed their portion of the investigation into the incident. Since the incident took place inside the plant, the incident has been referred to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Whether OSHA will open an investigation into the matter remains to be seen.
Regardless of whether OSHA decides to investigate the matter, the man will likely seek workers' compensation benefits from his employer. If his application for benefits is successful, he could recover compensation for expenses such as medical bills and lost wages. These benefits could make the recovery time a bit easier for the worker.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Man pinned under steel pipes at Beaver County plant," Moriah Balingit, May 16, 2012