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Worker killed in Bucks County rock-salt collapse

This winter has already been brutal for people throughout Pennsylvania, and many workers in the Philadelphia area have done their part to try to reduce some of the risks faced by motorists trying to navigate slick and snowy roadways.

A man who was doing his part to combat the cold weather recently died at a rock-salt facility in Bucks County. The man was operating an excavator and working on a 100-foot-tall pile of rock salt used to remove ice from roads. For reasons yet to be announced, the pile collapsed on top of him.

The accident reportedly happened at the International Salt Storage Facility in Falls Township. The township fire marshal said that emergency responders arrived on the scene, but freeing the injured worker was extremely difficult, with rock salt continuing to collapse around the rescuers.

Eventually, the crew had to use heavy equipment to get the excavator away from the salt pile, but by then, the worker had suffered fatal injuries.

The fire marshal characterized the man's death as a "tragic accident," but an investigation was still underway at the time of a report on Jan. 2.

Often, injured employees or their families face difficulties in receiving workers' compensation benefits in the wake of a serious work-related accident. Under Pennsylvania law, people who are injured in the course of their employment should receive compensation for lost wages and costs resulting from the injury. Families of deceased workers may also be able to receive death benefits after a fatal work accident.

Unfortunately, though, many workers are denied workers' compensation coverage, even after extremely serious injuries. Workers or their families who have been denied benefits should be aware of their legal options for appealing the decision and getting the benefits they need and deserve.

Source: CBS Philly, "Worker Crushed To Death By 100-Foot Rock Salt Pile In Bucks County," Tim Jimenez, Jan. 2, 2014

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