When oil and gas companies don’t comply with all applicable safety regulations or take shortcuts to maximize profits, Texas pipeline explosions can injure or even kill innocent Texas workers. Pipeline explosions can occur when heavy equipment performing excavation work strikes a pipeline.
Out of the 772 pipeline incidents rated as “serious” in the U.S. between 1999-2018, 102 of those happened in Texas. There are more than 58,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines running across Texas, and pipeline explosions remain far too common. In recent years, pipeline workers, contractors, first responders, and innocent members of the general public have been injured or killed in preventable pipeline explosions in Texas.
Causes of Pipeline Explosions
All involved in the manufacturing, construction, operation, and maintenance of pipelines must take proper care to avoid dangerous incidents. Pipeline explosions can be caused by a number of things, including:
- Damage caused by chemicals
- Defective products
- Equipment failure
- Failure to properly mark pipeline locations
- Gas leaks
- Human error
- Improper installation
- Improper repair welds or weld failure
- Improperly maintained pipes, joints, and valves
- Inadequate safety practices
- Metal fatigue
- Natural disasters
- Negligence or carelessness
- Violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace safety regulations
Pipeline Explosion Damages
As the number of pipeline explosion tragedies has been on the rise due to aging, damage, or cracking brought on by erosion of the pipe walls over time, anyone who has suffered as a result of a pipeline explosion in Texas should be aware of the legal recourse available. The injuries and property damage can both be catastrophic, with consequences including:
- Burn Injuries: A burn leads to the death of skin cells. While some recover well, many burn injuries require emergency medical attention to stave off complications and death. The different types of burns depend on their level of severity and are measured in degrees. First-degree burns are the least serious, while fourth-degree burns are often fatal.
- Property Damage: In addition to causing serious injuries, gas explosions can also result in the destruction of private property near the explosion site. If a pipeline explosion has caused your house to catch on fire or damaged your property in any way, you may be entitled to recover compensation.
- Toxic Exposure: Exposure to harmful chemicals from an explosion can affect nearly every system in the human body. Toxic chemical exposure on the job can limit your livelihood and shorten your life. A variety of toxic substances can be released in a pipeline explosion, any one of which can have a long-term medical impact on nearby workers.
- Wrongful Death: When a loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of an oil and gas pipeline company or one of its employees, surviving family members have the right to seek compensation for the losses they have suffered due to their loved one’s passing.
Houston, Texas Oilfield Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Texas pipeline explosion, the personal injury lawyers of J.D. Silva & Associates can help. Every pipeline explosion case we accept is handled on a contingency fee basis, so you will not incur any attorneys’ fees unless we obtain compensation for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.