Refinery Explosions

Work Accidents Refinery Explosions

After a refinery explosion, it is important to know the options available to you. You will need an experienced team to investigate your claims thoroughly to determine who may be liable so you can focus on recovering.

Work in a refinery can be among the most dangerous in the nation, with millions of barrels of oil and natural gas being processed in the U.S. each day. Refinery work requires the use of a variety of toxic chemicals operating at high temperatures. When the proper safety procedures and precautions are not taken, the results can be dangerous or even deadly. One of the most common causes of fatalities in a refinery are explosions, which are extremely dangerous for those working both inside and outside of the facility and even those in neighboring areas. These explosions can also occur in industrial settings, processing and chemical plants, terminals, docks, trains, oil and gas storage facilities, and other refinery related environments.

Causes of Explosions

With millions of workers employed as part of the oil and gas industry, many are in danger at any given time. This includes those working in the exploration and production of crude products, those in refineries and chemical plants, transportation professionals, and workers in support facilities.

Refinery explosions can often be linked to the negligence of facility owners or management when they fail to invest in the inspection, replacement, repair, and maintenance of equipment or property. This was the cause of the March 2005 BP refinery explosion in Texas City, when corroded pipes were found to have released flammable vapors into the air, which caused an explosion. This accident was responsible for 15 wrongful deaths and over 170 injuries.

The most common causes of refinery explosions are:

  • Failure to provide adequate safety equipment
  • Failure to provide adequate training of employees in proper safety procedures
  • Failure to post signage, proper warnings, and handling instructions
  • Failure to inspect lines, tanks, and other equipment
  • Failure to conduct necessary repairs
  • Defective equipment or worn tools and machinery
  • Unsafe handling of chemicals
  • Negligent or untrained third-party contractors or subcontractors
  • Improper use of natural gas, benzene, and other flammable liquids
  • Violations of OSHA regulations, state law, or other safety codes

Refinery Explosions and Wrongful Death

When a refinery explosion is caused by the negligence of an employer or a third party, they are financially liable for any injuries or deaths that occur, including compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost companionship
  • Punitive damages, should the guilty party be found to have acted in a grossly negligent manner

Texas Workplace Injury Lawyers

A statute of limitations applies if you or a loved one was involved in a refinery explosion. Be sure to ask for help as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence and properly deal with the employer, third parties, and their attorneys. Contact Craft Law Firm today.

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