Two weeks ago the Beaumont ExxonMobil refinery caught fire, causing the injuries of 12 contract workers who were on site. These contractors were on site to perform routine maintenance on the processing unit, and a flash fire occurred causing multiple injuries; four of the victims suffering severe burn wounds. Sadly, one of these victims was pronounced dead this past Saturday due to the severity of his burn injuries. This recent fire brings up the very concern of workplace safety on the refinery plants. As a result of this recent disaster, a number of workers at the Baytown refinery are threatening to go on strike against Exxon Mobil Corp. The strike is a response to the safety concerns on site, as they are hoping to prevent a disaster similar to Beaumont. ExxonMobil is known as one of the largest sources for both gas and various petroleum products around the globe.
The United Steelworkers local chapter in Baytown represents about 850 workers, and just yesterday they shared about their plans to strike in 60 days. Included in this intent to strike, the union requested that Exxon take measures to update safety procedures as well as education efforts for the workers on their site. The union clams that Exxon has done so for other locations and they are encouraging them to do the same in Baytown; however, thus far Exxon has not agree to follow their demands.
At this point in time, ExxonMobil does not have a good reputation with burn injuries in the recent weeks. Not only were there 11 injuries and 1 death from the fires of April 17 in Beaumont, another site in Arkansas had an oil spill and it resulted in the killing of many animals as well as damaging homes in the surrounding areas. Richard Laundry, a union spokesperson, calls Exxon to rethink their health and safety tactics, because while they like to believe they have the workers best interest in mind, their recent history shows there is much room for improvement. In this proposal drafted by the union, it includes employee training and safety review, employee involvement, as well as giving other solutions to worker fatigue that is often seen on these refinery plants.
Burn injuries can range from minor to life threatening, as was seen in the Beaumont disaster just a few weeks ago. Due to the dangers of a refinery plant, if the employers fail to offer a safe environment for the workers, accidents like this can and will occur. Though accidents are a common occurrence in this occupation, it does not mean that they should occur. Employer negligence is often times the cause of many incidents due to insufficient training and equipment given to the workers.
In the event you or a loved one have been injured in a refinery plant fire, and are suffering from any level of burn injuries, contact Arnold & Itkin LLP. At our firm, we will fight aggressively on your behalf to help you seek the financial compensation that you rightfully deserve after your workplace injury. Sadly, many workers in the state of Texas do not have workers' compensation benefits, which makes filing a lawsuit all the more important to pay for the extensive costs that are associated with a work injury. If you lost a loved one in a similar incident, we can also help you file a wrongful death suit on their behalf; so that you might have financial help on the future loss of income, as well as medical and funeral expenses. Contact our firm today for the Houston injury attorney you want on your side.