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Worker injured by an explosion at Pennsylvania plant

A worker at the Wolfe Dye & Bleach Works Inc. in Perry Township suffered injuries as a result of an explosion that occurred on Dec. 21 sometime after 1 p.m. After the workplace accident, the 47-year-old man fled the scene and crossed Route 61, where a motorist pulled over and pushed the burning man into the snow, according to the Shoemakersville Fire Company deputy chief.

After the fire to his clothes was extinguished, the worker was transported by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he received treatment in the burn unit. According to the deputy fire chief, the man suffered from head and upper body burns.

The man is reported to have explained to fire officials that he was burned by a flash fire while he was attempting to ignite an object in the pump house and that he dropped some tools and ran out as a result of the explosion. At this point, the deputy fire chief said that he noticed smoke at the pump house and notified fire crews, who extinguished the fire in less than 20 minutes.

This fire marks the third one since August at the fabric-bleaching plant. The causes of the fire that took place in November and the December fire remain unclear and continue to be under investigation by state police, as reported at the time of the news brief.

Workplace injuries are not uncommon in certain industries and can occur for various reasons. Whether a work accident is caused by employer negligence, an unsafe working environment, defective tools or a lack of proper safety equipment, workers might not be aware of the proper steps to take if they receive an injury. If a worker is denied workers' compensation coverage after suffering an on-the-job injury, he or she may choose to file a claim in civil court.

Source: Reading Eagle, "Man burning as he runs from fire at Perry Twp. plant", Steven Henshaw, December 22, 2013

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