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Cause listed in worker's death

A Pennsylvania state report has released the cause of an explosion that resulted in a man's death at a gas well in February; the report claims that the 27-year-old worker was not properly supervised. The employee was investigating a hissing noise when the well exploded.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reportedly believed that the accident was due to the actions of an inexperienced worker and his supervisor. The claim also insisted that the supervisor failed to ensure that the equipment was properly locked in place.

The report also placed some of the blame squarely on Chevron's shoulders, stating that the company was not properly supervising the contractors because the site managers were distracted and overworked. At the very least, the report emphasized a lack of supervision at the accident site; the manager was allegedly absent from the grounds and focused on other responsibilities in the site trailer.

A representative for Chevron said that they were going over the information and will cooperate with OSHA and DEP in order to prevent future accidents. The victim's family is reportedly pursuing legal action against Chevron; the worker was expecting a child at the time of his death.

After the death of a loved one at work, a family might wonder if they can pursue legal action against a negligent employer. It should be noted, however, that filing for workers' compensation benefits does not require proof of liability. A family can contact an attorney in order to discuss the options right for them.

Source: Reuters, "Death at Pennsylvania gas well blamed on human error, poor supervision", David Dekok, August 06, 2014

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