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West Virginia metal recycler reaches settlement with agencies

The state of West Virginia is no stranger to industrial accidents. When these accidents occur, several agencies might be called in to investigate in the hopes of preventing things such as workplace injuries from occurring again. Residents of New Cumberland were rocked with a accident in 2010 that claimed the lives of three workers at a metal recycling company. The company, AL Solutions, recently settled a case brought by several safety agencies.

The company that recycles titanium and zirconium raw materials that aluminum producers use as alloying additives was fined $100,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency and $97,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor. The fines stem from an explosion that was caused by titanium and zirconium powder reacting with each other. The three men who were killed were working with zirconium powder at the time of the accident.

Along with the EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the accident site. The investigations resulted in not only the fines, but the company is required to make several changes, such as shipping all of its zirconium for processing or disposal within 90 days of the Feb. 4 consent decree, limit the acceptance of zirconium without EPA approval and implement adequate storage procedures for the storage area.

The families of the men that were killed have also filed civil suits against the company, as is their right. When a company's actions are found to have contributed to the injury or death of its workers, those who are affected can seek compensation for their losses. Anyone who is contemplating this option can speak to an experienced legal professional to determine what rights to damages they might actually have.

Source:  The Weirton Daily Times, "AL Solutions settlement reached" Stephen Huba, Mar. 03, 2014

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