There are many common causes of Houston refinery explosions. Typically refinery explosions can be traced to company management refusing to invest in maintenance or replace defective or worn-out equipment. Refinery owners, operators, and employers are required by law to inspect their machinery, storage tanks, and other equipment regularly.
Failure to Conduct Routine Inspection and Maintenance
When refinery management fails to inspect and perform routine maintenance on a facility, workers are forced to perform their job duties in an unsafe work environment. Even with protective equipment, workers may have no way to protect themselves from a malfunctioning piece of heavy machinery. Many owners, operators, and employers are reluctant to perform the required inspections of their facilities due to the high cost of maintenance and repairs. The price is then paid by refinery accident victims who are then injured or killed due to their employer’s negligence.
h2>Lack of Dangerous Chemical Oversight
When dangerous chemicals are misused or are used when impure, deadly combustion can occur that can cause in a refinery explosion. Employees need proper job training to ensure they are using chemicals properly, including natural gas, benzene, and highly flammable liquids. This training can help ensure all chemicals and gases are stored in a secure manner and reduce the risk of chemicals violently interacting with each other.
Lack of Appropriate Protective Equipment
Employers are required to provide safety equipment for workers that can protect them from direct harm while performing their job duties. Safety equipment can include eye protection, gloves, hardhats, fire-resistant clothing, safeguarding equipment, and more. There must be functioning fire suppression systems throughout the refinery as well as an alert system in case of gas or chemical leaks that give adequate warning to workers when danger is imminent. Without safety equipment, workers are at a high risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries or suffering death in refinery accidents.
Failure to Properly Train Employees
Working at a refinery requires focus, skill, and knowledge. When employees lack appropriate training regarding safety, they will be unable to carry out their job duties safely. In such a volatile industry that works with hazardous materials, safety is critical to avoiding catastrophic workplace accidents. Safety signage, safety training, and job-specific training are all necessary to keep a refinery safe.
When a refinery explosion occurs, the injuries can be devastating. Even minor injuries can leave a worker scarred for life. Some of the most common refinery explosion injuries include severe burns and lacerations, amputations, chemical and electrical burns, broken limbs, disfiguration, internal organ damage, exposure to toxic chemicals, permanent disability, and wrongful death. These types of injuries require extensive medical treatment that can be expensive and require the worker to stay home for extended periods of time while missing work – and maybe even prevent them from ever returning to work.
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a Houston, Texas refinery explosion or other workplace accident, contact the work injury attorneys at J.D. Silva & Associates at 281-971-3200 as soon as possible. We can evaluate your potential case and direct the appropriate course of action. We know how oil companies approach these cases and have the experience and resources to fight for you every step of the way. Ultimately, our team wants to make sure you get the help you deserve during this difficult time.