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PITTSBURGH FORGINGS COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/19/81)

decided: January 19, 1981.

PITTSBURGH FORGINGS COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND PERRY ROSE, RESPONDENTS. PITTSBURGH FORGINGS COMPANY, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND DENNIS K. STARK, RESPONDENTS



Appeals from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Perry Rose v. Pittsburgh Forgings Co., No. A-77201 and in the case of Dennis Keith Stark v. Pittsburgh Forgings Co., No. A-77921.

COUNSEL

Henry J. Wallace, Jr., with him John B. Bechtol, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for petitioner.

Alexander J. Pentecost, with him Amiel B. Caramanna, Jr., for respondents, Perry O. Rose and Dennis K. Stark.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 151]

The two cases which have been consolidated for appeal here involve awards of benefits by the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) pursuant to The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act)*fn1 for facial and neck disfigurement resulting from burns sustained by claimants while working for Pittsburgh Forgings Company (employer). We affirm.

At the times of their respective injuries, claimant, Perry O. Rose, and claimant, Dennis K. Stark, both worked as hot press operators or "trimmers" in employer's forge shop. As trimmers, claimants work on the opposite side of a forging hammer from the hammerman who shapes the forging with the use

[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 152]

    of a large oscillating hammer which may strike the hot metal at the rate of ten to fifteen times a minute. When the forging is completed by the hammerman, it is transported by the use of hand tongs to the trimmer who trims the excess metal. During the forging and trimming process, when pressure is applied to the material being forged, hot scale flies off the metal into the surrounding area. Scale is the carbonization of the surface of the steel; a thin, flaky substance which adheres to the forging until it is struck at which time it flies off in pieces of varying sizes. The trimmer works between two and one-half and five feet from the hammer. Trimmers wear wire full face screens, helmets, safety glasses and safety shoes. They also usually keep their shirt collars buttoned up and/or wear a kerchief or towel around their necks but they are not required to do so.

On March 22, 1979, claimant in 2234 C.D. 1979, Perry O. Rose, filed three claim petitions alleging that on July 10, 1978, August 16, 1978 and October 27, 1978 while working as a trimmer he sustained burns on his neck resulting in compensable disfigurement. After a hearing on April 24, 1979 the referee awarded compensation. The Board affirmed.

On May 16, 1979, claimant in 564 C.D. 1980, Dennis K. Stark, filed three claim petitions alleging disfigurement of the neck and face resulting from burns sustained on August 23, 1978, September 20, 1978 and October 20, 1978. After a second hearing,*fn2 the referee denied compensation for the August 23, 1978 injury and granted compensation for the scars resulting

[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 153]

    from the other two injury dates. The ...


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