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Louisiana chemical hauler cited for worker safety, health hazards

Industrial chemicals are a part of life. They can be hazardous, indeed deadly. That's why there are federal and state laws in place to regulate how they're handled. Any worker who produces, transports, receives and works with these chemicals requires special training and special equipment to maintain the safety of themselves and the rest of the public.

Despite the rules, there is no assurance that a company will always be in compliance. Very often, pressures to increase profit margins move industry players to negligently cut corners. Safety protocols are often the first things to go by the wayside. When accidents occur, it is the workers who are usually the first victims of serious and fatal injury.

They should not bear the brunt of that disregard. And working with an experienced attorney to determine if a case exists is recommended as a key step in holding the proper entity or entities accountable.

One of the telltales of whether a case might be viable is if there is a history of wrongdoing on record. A recent action by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Baton Rouge may serve as an example.

Earlier this month, the Region 6 OSHA office issued a citation against a Port Allen, Louisiana, trucking firm. The company's marketing says it specializes in the transport of hazardous materials.

The OSHA citation accuses the company of a total of 33 violations and seeks to fine the firm a total of $156,800. Infractions listed included 27 that were deemed serious safety hazards and one that was deemed willful.

An investigation in February specifically found that the company knowingly failed to provide fall protection for workers. Employees were also exposed to noise, breathing, fire and electrical hazards and silica exposure. The company is also accused of failing to adequately train its industrial truck operators.

There is no indication that any worker suffered injury as a result of these alleged violations, but that may have just been a matter of good fortune. Should an accident occur, however, this record of citation might be used to support a claim for compensation and recovery.

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