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OSHA fines oil company in connection with refinery explosion

Pennsylvania workers may be interested in recent news regarding a 2013 explosion at a Mississippi refinery that left one worker dead. On April 24, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration released its findings to a month-long investigation into the explosion and fire at Chevron's Pascagoula refinery on November 15.

OSHA found that Chevron was guilty of several health and safety violations and notified the company of these findings. Moreover, OSHA issued the company a $24,000 fine as a penalty. A Chevron representative said that the company had cooperated fully with OSHA during the investigation and that the company plans on responding to the findings in due course.

The explosion reportedly occurred in a furnace in one of the refinery's cracking units. These units play a part in the refining process by helping to break down the hydrocarbons in crude oil. This facilitates the production of chemicals and fuel.

OSHA is a national agency that enforces workplace health and safety regulations, and they also investigate accidents when workers are killed or injured on the job. While investigators at OSHA look for the cause of workplace accidents to prevent similar occurrences in the future, the Pennsylvania worker's compensation program helps workers injured in these accidents to cope financially. The program compensates those who suffer a workplace injury for the cost of their medical treatment and wages lost while they are unable to work. Because the system can be complicated and adversarial at times, injured workers often retain a workers' compensation attorney to both guide and advocate for them during the claim-filing process. An attorney may assist victims of workplace accidents to receive all of the benefits to which they are entitled.

Source: Claims Journal, "OSHA Cites Chevron for Mississippi Refinery Explosion", April 28, 2014

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