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Federal Chemical Safety Board strives to improve workplace safety

Those who work in the industrial field are exposed to hazards that are rarely found in other workplaces. However, in spite of growing concerns that the federal Chemical Safety Board lacks funding to improve workplace safety, others are opposed to funding the board altogether. Missouri is home to several manufacturing plants that could pose a significant danger to both employees and the surrounding communities in the event of a serious accident.

The Chemical Safety Board was first established in 1990 to investigate the causes behind industrial accidents. The need for this independent agency came about after a series of industrial accidents that proved to be beyond the scope of either the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Though the board was founded in 1990, it was eight years before it received any funding from the federal government. Even now, the budget is significantly less than that received by other safety agencies.

Before the formation of the CSB, it usually fell to the employer or state agencies to investigate the causes behind serious accidents. Often, it was the policies of these two entities that led to the conditions that caused the accident in the first place. Since its founding, the Board has investigated several serious incidents, including an explosion that caused thousands in the surrounding community to seek medical care.

In an effort to reduce the dangers of a horrific accident, the CSB attempted to institute industry changes modeled on European safety standards. While there was support for many of these changes, there was enough resistance that led to the resignation of the chairman. Regardless of the attempts to increase workplace safety, Missouri workers still face the risk of being injured in a work-related accident. Those who are injured on the job may qualify for benefits through the state's workers' compensation program. A skilled attorney can help ensure that these claims are processed in a timely manner for maximum benefits.

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