Four workers were burned at a ConocoPhillips natural gas processing plant in Wyoming yesterday morning, according to statements from the company. The incident involved a flash fire that ignited and then immediately extinguished itself during a planned maintenance operation. The company noted that four workers were inside and all the rest have been accounted for; the burn victims have since been transported to local hospitals for treatment. No gas was exposed to those residing in the surrounding areas, and therefore no evacuations had to be made.
Many accidents at gas refinery plants also result in contamination of the surrounding environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the government agency responsible for regulating all emissions that come from these types of plants. Any emissions above the safe level will warrant punitive actions. According to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, the entire Conoco plant had been idle since the beginning of the month in order to safely complete all required maintenance operations. Since the fire, all maintenance operations have been halted, which completely shuts down the plant.
All operations at the plant have been halted in order to preserve evidence for investigations, which will begin immediately, according to a company statement. The only personnel authorized to remain on the premises during this time are emergency responders such as local firefighters and ambulances. ConocoPhillips, in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will begin collecting evidence in order to find the cause of the flash fire as well as uncover any potential liability on behalf of the Conoco. Preserving evidence is of the utmost importance in cases such as this; when investigations are not immediately conducted and legal representation is not obtained right away, victims run the risk of losing compensation that they are rightfully entitled to.
So just how important is the evidence in industrial accidents? It is paramount. Without all of the evidence, a claim cannot be substantiated which would mean that these workers may be left under-compensated. Investigations are currently being conducted by government agencies and the plant itself, so where would an attorney fit into the equation? The right lawyer can prompt the investigations to happen quickly so important information isn't lost. Industrial accidents frequently cause damage to property, air quality and even cause serious worker injury and death. An attorney who is working specifically for you will be more thorough throughout the process in order to gain a full understanding of what actually took place.
It is not uncommon for plant and refinery accidents to be caused by some sort of negligence. Although we know that Conoco was performing necessary maintenance operations, these operations could have been conducted in such a way that was unsafe. Improper training of employees, lack of supervision and defective machinery are all common causes of plant accidents. These are all preventable causes, and they are things that our firm will look for when investigating your claim.
Accidents of this magnitude deserve representation from a firm of quality, persistence and skill. That firm is Arnold & Itkin LLP. Time and time again, we have proven to be successful in thoroughly investigating cases, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to finding areas in which you may be entitled to compensation. We have the resources to take on these types of cases and have recovered millions of dollars for wrongfully injured workers across the nation. Plants that process petrochemical products are some of the dangerous places to work in the entire nation. Arnold & Itkin is passionate about protecting and fighting for the rights of these workers. Those who are involved in industrial accidents of this nature should not wait. Contact our firm today.