Plants and refineries are similar to many industrial workplaces, as more common accidents can happen on a regular basis. These do not have to be large in order to be deadly. While many accidents, such as the Texas City refinery explosion, are large in magnitude, many smaller accidents are just as catastrophic for the victims.
To better avoid these accidents, as well as more severe ones, the OSHA has set up rules and regulations for plants and refineries to follow. If an accident investigation shows that these standards were violated, then the responsible parties may be held accountable.
Human error is the most common cause of plant and refinery accidents, and when it comes to human error, the truth of the matter is that the most common cause is negligence. Whether that be the negligence of the employer, maintenance worker, or a third party, it is typically the cause of things like explosions, fires, and other disasters. This means that the majority of these accidents could be avoided with proper training, supervision, safety measures, screening, and other actions.
Due to the volatile nature of the chemicals involved in chemical plants, it is absolutely crucial for workers to handle these substances correctly to avoid potential injury. Unfortunately, accidents can happen—including those that could have been avoided through more care and caution being taken at the workplace. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pointed out, some of the most common causes of chemical plant accidents include the use of poorly-designed equipment, poor hazard review, inadequate indications of process condition, and ignored warnings about potential problems—all of which could have been corrected before an accident occurs.
Chemical Plant Accidents
Working in a chemical plant comes with many inherent risks due to the volatility of the chemicals that are being produced. Even so, many of the injuries that occur in chemical plants could be easily avoided if workers practiced caution and followed proper safety protocols. Chemicals are toxic materials and highly flammable, which means that production plants for chemicals are extremely dangerous. If proper safety regulations are not held to, machine malfunctioning, improper handling, or another kind of negligence can cause serious accidents.
Oil Refinery Plant Accidents
Oil refineries are a type of plant where crude oil is turned into types of petroleum products. Because of the technology used in oil refineries, they can be thought of as a type of chemical plant in many ways. Heating is used to refine the crude oil, so accidents that result from overheating are common. These plants develop things such as gasoline. Defective equipment, malfunctioning equipment, and unseen corrosion are common factors contributing to accidents.
Plant & Refinery Explosions
Plants and refineries are particularly dangerous due to the high volume of flammable and combustible materials inside the plant. If employers do not enforce proper safety protocols, catastrophic explosions could happen at any moment. While following proper safety protocols is vital, it is also crucial that management properly maintain and update the equipment in the plant. Many past explosions could have been avoidable had worn-down or outdated equipment been maintained or upgraded. The prolonged lack of proper maintenance and care for equipment is typically the cause of these accidents.
Plant & Refinery Fires
Fires are catastrophic events that do not necessarily cause an explosion. Chemicals, crude oil, and similar materials are highly flammable. If not handled properly, they could result in a fire. Fires occur often in conjunction with explosions, but sometimes in isolated instances too.
If you were injured in one of these accidents, it is time for you to talk with a plant and refinery accident lawyer about your legal options. For example, your employer may be found to have acted negligently by not providing adequate training to employees. In other cases, those responsible for the maintenance of machines may have been negligent if their neglect of maintenance led to an equipment malfunction.
You may be unsure of what factor caused your accident and injury, which is exactly why you should seek help from a plant accident attorney at Arnold & Itkin. We have helped hundreds of industrial workers just like you obtain recoveries for their injuries. We are proud to fight for the rights of injured victims, and should you become our client, we will do the same for you.
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