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Safety Policies & Procedures at Plants

In 1970, the United States Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as part of the United States Department of Labor. The goal of creating OSHA was to help regulate industrial workplaces to enhance the safety and well-being of workers. OSHA was to accomplish the goal of setting and enforcing strict safety standards. These standards extend to the numerous plants and refineries operating throughout the United States—workplaces where employees are required just to accept the dangers and risks that they face on a daily basis.

At Arnold & Itkin, we understand that safety policies and procedures are put in place to help reduce the number of accidents, as well as to contain the amount of damage that those accidents cause. Unfortunately, these standards are not always adhered to. The violation of OSHA guidelines can lead to catastrophic explosions and fires, which can lead to property damage, injuries, and even death. Below, we explain several aspects of the standards and regulations that apply to plants, refineries, and various factories throughout the nation.

Plant-Specific Safety Procedures

To reduce risk, it is not uncommon for individual plants and companies to come up with their own safety policies and procedures. Most of these are relatively universal, such as zero tolerance for alcohol and substance abuse. Due to the delicate nature of working in a plant or refinery, companies just cannot risk having an employee at work under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Other policies may be outlined in a company’s handbook, including steps on how to report a hazard to seniors, the usage of chemicals, what protective equipment is required, how to communicate about risks, and protocol for the use of specific equipment.

Should an individual plant create their own safety policies and rules, management should make sure to continually develop those guidelines, adapting them to changing circumstances, and tailoring them to the specifics of their industry. Beyond that, they should make sure that all rules are communicated to management as well as employees, and enforced on a consistent basis. Should the rules be unclear, unknown, or inconsistent, it can result in confusion in the workplace, which can be dangerous or even fatal in an industrial environment.

Some examples of safety rules may include the following:

  • Report to work rested and alert.
  • Wear required personal protective equipment at all times.
  • Report all accidents and injuries immediately to your supervisor.
  • Only perform job functions for which you have received proper training.
  • Horseplay and practical jokes are not allowed on work grounds.
  • Ignoring safe work practices and policies is cause for termination.

OSHA Policy Example: Electricity

It is not uncommon for industrial workers to deal with electricity, both directly and indirectly, and sometimes on a daily basis. Due to the inherent dangers of electricity, the OSHA is clear in its standards for handling it. For example, there are strict requirements regarding the mandatory training of employees who run the risk of electric shock. Per Section 1910.332 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, this includes training those workers to make them familiar with safety-related work practices, as well as to help them distinguish exposed live parts and determine their nominal voltage. This training is essential for the protection of employees at plants and refineries.

The necessity of Proper Training

The importance of training cannot be overstated in ensuring that employees follow OSHA policies. To help in this endeavor, the OSHA offers a comprehensive Outreach Training Program that provides industrial workers with the training they need to not only recognize danger but also to avoid and prevent it. This training can also help workers by ensuring access to the information they need concerning their rights, the responsibilities of their employer, and the steps involved in filing a complaint. If workers are interested, OSHA offers both 10 and 30-hour classes.

Contact a Texas Attorney at Arnold & Itkin LLP to Discuss Your Case

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a plant explosion that was caused by the violation of safety policies or procedures, you should not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable Texas plant accident attorney from Arnold & Itkin as soon as possible. We have been successful in recovering billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. We know the laws and regulations that govern industrial workplaces and are well-versed in the handling of plant and refinery accident cases. In fact, we have represented countless clients who were injured in plant explosions.

To schedule your free, confidential consultation, just give Arnold & Itkin a call today!
We look forward to hearing from you and potentially helping in your fight for justice.

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  • $171Million One of the Largest Confidential Settlements in History Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement of $171 million.
  • $97Million Massive Settlement Secured for Refinery Workers Arnold & Itkin is proud to share that after months of preparation for trial, our firm was able to secure a huge settlement for clients who were injured in a refinery fire. Find out more now.
  • $39.7Million Record Verdict Won for Victim of Industrial Accident Attorneys Kyle Findley, Kala Sellers, and Adam Lewis obtained a record $39.744 million verdict on behalf of a client who was burned in a severe dust fire and explosion at a plywood plant in Corrigan, TX.
  • $18.5Million Second Verdict Won for 4 Victims of Geismar Explosion In our second trial on behalf of victims of the 2013 plant explosion in Geismar, LA, Arnold & Itkin won a massive verdict for 4 workers and their families. The verdict will go toward providing the extensive care they have required in the years since the explosion as well as the care they will need for the rest of their lives. This was the second of 2 massive verdicts Arnold & Itkin won against Williams Companies, Inc.
  • $15.5Million Massive Verdict Won for Geismar Explosion Victims Arnold & Itkin won a landmark verdict against Williams Companies, Inc. and child company Williams Olefins LLC for their part in the 2013 explosion that killed 2 workers and injured over 100 more. Williams Companies tried to blame the incident on their limited liability shell company, but the jury saw through the defense. They awarded 95% of the blame to Williams Companies, Inc. and gave our clients the money they needed for medical care.
  • $13.7Million Massive Settlement Won Only Months After Injury Arnold & Itkin represented a plant worker who was seriously injured in an accident on the job. Plant injuries are often complex, taking years to fully investigate and litigate. Fortunately, our firm’s work was able to secure a multi-million dollar settlement mere months after the injury took place. Now our client’s medical expenses and other needs are taken care of for the rest of his life.
  • $12Million Injured Worker Received Settlement for Burn Injuries Our industrial injury lawyers have recently recovered $12 million on behalf of a plant worker who suffered burns when a safety valve failed at the refinery where he was employed. His settlement will go toward providing him with extensive and long-term medical care. His employer chose to settle his case two weeks before trial was set to begin.
  • $11.7Million Settlement Won for Plant Worker Injured During Turnaround Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin successfully recovered $11.75 million on behalf of a man who was injured while working a turnaround at an industrial plant. He was injured because he and his team were not informed of the plant’s dangers, and his family turned to Arnold & Itkin shortly afterward. Our team was able to get him money for his present and future medical expenses less than a year after he was injured.
  • $11.6Million Verdict Secured for a Worker Partially Blinded on the Job Our client was only offered $300,000 by the defendant for his near-total loss of sight in one eye, but the jury only deliberated for less than 2 days before they found the defendant guilty of defective equipment design. They gave our client an award of $11.6 million.
  • $4.97Million Settlement Reached for Orthopaedic Injury Victim Our team worked to represent a client who was severely injured while working at a chemical plant. He was performing construction and maintenance work at the time of the incident. In the end, our firm was successful in settling the case for $4.97 million.
  • $4.8Million Verdict Won for Bereaved Daughter Kurt Arnold recovered $4.8 million for a client whose father was killed after suffering a severe head injury in Port Arthur, Texas. Winning justice for grieving clients is a primary reason we became lawyers, and it's our honor to help clients like this one receive help.
  • $4Million Victim of Plant Explosion Received Millions in Settlement Arnold & Itkin attorneys represented a Mississippi man who was severely injured in a Texas refinery plant explosion. Cases like these require a high level of experience and investigative resources due to the myriad factors involved in a plant explosion. Our attorneys are proud to have helped our client receive a settlement of $4,000,000.
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