Plant & Refinery Turnaround Accident Attorneys
In industrial plants and refineries, turnarounds are a term used for the process of taking the entire unit offline for some time while a revamp or renewal is performed. Turnarounds are sometimes called shutdowns or outages and can refer to some different projects such as debottlenecking, inspection and testing, or revamps. Turnarounds are expensive in terms of labor costs, equipment, and lost production during the downtime, but they are vital to maintaining and updating the plant’s equipment. Delays in turnarounds can lead to long-term safety problems that put workers at risk.
While turnarounds are necessary to maintain the overall safety of the plant, the process itself can be volatile. If not performed properly and under close supervision, severe accidents can occur that have the potential to greatly injure workers.
Common Injuries Suffered in Turnaround Accidents
Turnarounds are a large, complex process with multiple steps that can lead to an accident if not performed correctly. Because they can be inherently unpredictable, the types of accidents can vary widely.
Some common injuries suffered in turnaround accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Blunt force trauma
Turnaround Accident FAQ
Why are turnarounds dangerous at plants and refineries?
Turnarounds, also referred to as TARs, are an essential—and dangerous—part of plant and refinery maintenance. Everything must be taken offline to make sure it’s working correctly and for improvements to be made, if necessary. With systems and machinery being taken offline and put back online again, sometimes with renovations or refits, the potential for accidents is higher than usual. Every single step must be carried out correctly, or disaster could result. Turnaround accidents happen when procedure isn’t followed correctly, systems fail, or safety precautions are not properly implemented.
I was injured in a turnaround accident. Who’s responsible?
If you were working at a plant or refinery and were injured during a turnaround, the individual or company responsible for the incident should be held liable for your medical care, lost earnings, and other losses you’ve experienced and will experience in the future. Your employer may be responsible for these losses on a no-fault basis, or you could have grounds for a lawsuit if gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or a third party (someone other than your employer or another worker) was involved. An investigation will reveal who should be held accountable.
How can plant and refinery turnaround accidents be prevented?
Turnarounds are expensive, time-consuming, and necessary. If mishandled or mismanaged, numerous workers could be injured or killed. At the very least, the process may be drawn out and result in lost production and revenue for the plant or refinery.
The best way to plan a safe and successful turnaround is by:
- Identifying what equipment may require repairs or replacement ahead of time.
- Gathering the necessary tools, personnel, and equipment to perform repairs/replacements.
- Only having necessary personnel at the site at the time of the turnaround (having unnecessary personnel present at particularly hazardous steps will only put more people at risk.)
- Having only the most experienced personnel manage the turnaround.
- Never rushing or cutting corners, no matter the pressure or demand.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured in a Turnaround Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured during a turnaround or shutdown at a plant or refinery, you should consult with an experienced turnaround accident lawyer as soon as possible. Turnarounds can be extremely complex since there are typically multiple parties, trades, and chains of command involved in the process. Because of those complexities, it is important that you consult with an attorney that has the experience and technical knowledge to fully analyze and evaluate the turnaround process to identify actions that may have led to the accident.
Our firm has represented workers from the largest plants and refineries in the country and successfully recovered over $11 million for a client who was injured in a turnaround accident. Call (888) 493-1629 to find out how we can help you.