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In a 2013 a chemical fire at a Louisiana flavoring manufacturing plant, a worker was severely injured and burned. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the business owner—Carol Callahan, operating the business Natural Advantage—with 19 different health and safety violations. The proposed penalties for the violations total $91,000.

OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge, La., said, “Natural Advantage violated various OSHA standards that, when followed, can protect workers from exposure to hazardous chemicals. Employers must find and fix hazards to ensure the safety and well being of their workforce.”

Worker severely burned by chemical fire in 2013

What Happened?

OSHA’s Baton Rouge office cited the plant for violating various standards that would have prevented workers’ overexposure to methylene chloride, as well as other safety violations involving the hazards of flammable liquids and reactive chemicals.  Natural Advantage employs about 90 people, and has two facilities – one in Oakdale, Louisiana, and one in Lakeland, Florida. The fire at the Oakdale plant was caused when an employee was working in a lab with flammable Hexane and a spark from another piece of equipment ignited the Hexane and burned him.

The employee had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. Fortunately, his injuries were not said to be life threatening—however, employees in any industry should be able to feel confident in their employer’s commitment to safety. Among other violations, the company was cited for failure to provide employees with appropriate respirators, overexposing workers to airborne concentrations of methyl mercaptan, failing to provide workers with training for handling flammable liquids, and failing to provide an emergency response plan.

How Can a Workers Compensation Lawyer Help You?

If, like this employee, you have been injured while on the job, it’s important to know that you have the opportunity to file a workers compensation claim. It’s important to do so as soon as you can after the injury to get the process started. Don’t put off getting medical attention if you need it, however—it is essential to get treated for any injuries or illnesses caused by conditions at your job.

Be sure to keep an accurate, detailed account of everything that you do after getting injured, and file a workers compensation claim at work. Then, it’s helpful to contact a workers compensation lawyer, as they will be able to assist and guide you through the best route to seeking reimbursement for things like medical bills, lost wages, and more. They can help you figure out how to deal with your employer and insurance companies, as well. Getting help from a legal professional may mean a better chance at being compensated for your injury, so it’s in your best interest to do so.

If you’ve been injured at work, contact Malman Law today.

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