As we look back on 2015, it is disappointing to be reminded yet again that when it comes to worker safety, progress can be slow. Multiple plant explosions happened in 2015, causing wrongful death and serious injuries.
Plant Explosions That Occurred in 2015
In October, a chemical plant near Houston, Texas exploded and resulted in a subsequent fire. The explosion and fire caused four injuries. All injured workers were expected to make full recoveries. The silicon plant was owned by SunEdison and located near the Houston Ship Channel.
In Gibson, Louisiana, another gas plant explosion occurred in October. The blast could be heard more than a mile away. The facility is owned by Williams Partners, and it is believed that the explosion was caused by a slug catcher—an equipment part designed to collect hydrocarbon buildup in the pipelines. When the explosion occurred, there were 20 people inside the plant. Two workers were seriously injured and three workers were killed in the blast.
On December 3 of this year, another major blast at a gas plant in Texas near the New Mexico border went off, causing official to lockdown every plant in the Delaware Basin. There were 200 people on site during the explosion at Andarko Gas Plant, but thankfully only two minor injuries occurred. Local law enforcement and safety officials helped with the evacuation process. A subsequent fire caused by the explosion led to hundreds of evacuations in the area, but the fire was largely contained by evening. The plant belongs to Anadarko.
How Often Do Workplace Fires & Explosions Occur?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a study entitled the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. This study found that, in 2012, approximately 122 workers were killed by fires or explosions on the job. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that at least 5,000 people are injured in explosions and / or fires in the workplace in the United States every year, on average.
Fires and explosions can occur in many different industries, including mining, construction, and oil and gas. However, plants such as chemical plants and manufacturing plants are among the workplaces that at the highest risk for these types of accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in a plant explosion, we urge you to seek legal help. Observing workplace safety regulations is extremely important. Your employer has a responsibility to protect workers.
For more information, or a free evaluation of your case, call our legal team today.