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Pennsylvania gas well explosion injures one, leaves one missing

Pennsylvania has a thriving oil and gas industry. Though this sector fuels our economy by pumping money and jobs into local areas, it also places workers at risk of harm. Whether they are constructing pipelines, digging wells, or working with flammable materials, these individuals face the potential of being seriously injured when something goes wrong.

Sadly, two employees are in that situation now after an explosion at a southwestern Pennsylvania natural gas well. The exact cause of the explosion is unknown at this time, but reports indicate that one employee was injured while another remains missing. Though Chevron, the company that owned the well, says it is focusing on putting out the fire and protecting its employees, it is too late for the man who was injured in the blast and the other who is missing.

Many know that workplace injuries occur quite frequently, but some may not know exactly when they are entitled to workers' compensation. If an accident causes injuries and arose out of and while within the victim's scope of employment, then, typically, compensation will be granted. However, sometimes insurance companies claim the injuries claimed pre-existed the accident or the worker was outside his or her scope of employment, and therefore deny the claim. When this happens, it is imperative to seek legal assistance.

A strong attorney, well-versed in the law and victims' cases, will fight to get a claim denial reversed, hopefully thereby obtaining the workers' compensation benefits the injured individual deserves. Then, the worker will be able to pay medical expenses, even those stemming from permanent disability, and recoup lost wages.

By fighting for workers' compensation, those injured on the job also let their employers know that unsafe working conditions are unacceptable. Hopefully then the proper steps will be taken to ensure employees are kept safe while at work.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Chevron Natural Gas Well Catches Fire In Southwestern Pennsylvania Following Explosion," Elizabeth Daley, Feb. 11, 2014

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