Chemical Plant Accident Attorneys
Arnold & Itkin LLP has represented hundreds of workers injured by the negligence of their employers and fellow workers. Our case history includes catastrophic events such as the 2005 Texas City explosion or the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, among many others. With hundreds of clients, many of whom became our friends over the course of the case, we understand the pain and costs of a serious injury. Our role is to make sure they receive the compensation they deserve on all fronts: for medical costs, lost wages, lowered earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
Were You Injured in a Chemical Plant Accident?
Employees of chemical plants are placed in danger on a daily basis. While there are inherent risks of working with volatile chemicals in this industry, it does not mean that injuries should be expected or discounted; in fact, an alarming number of accidents occur from preventable causes—such as negligent or merely careless behavior. If you were injured or if someone you love was killed, the time to act is now.
At Arnold & Itkin, we bring a wealth of experience to the table with industrial disasters such as chemical plant accidents. We have recovered billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements since opening our doors, and we have been proud to help countless clients get the money that they need during their recovery period. If you would like to talk to an experienced attorney about your situation, contact us today.
You can either call us at (888) 493-1629 or click here for a free and confidential consultation.
Example of a Chemical Plant Accident: Williams Olefins Plant Explosion
In Geismar, LA on June 13, 2013, disaster struck when a petrochemical plant exploded. According to reports, the failure of a heat exchanger most likely caused the explosion, which prompted investigations from both the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). It is estimated that the blast from the explosion could be felt for several miles, and a shelter in place order was placed within a two-mile radius. Nearly 115 people were injured and 2 people lost their lives.
5 of History's Largest Industrial Disasters
- Bhopal Disaster (December 2, 1984) — 558,125 injuries & 3,787 deaths
- Oppau Explosion (September 21, 1921) — 2,000 injuries & 500+ deaths
- Phillips Disaster (October 23, 1989) — 314 injuries & 23 deaths
- Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster (March 11, 2011) — 37 physical injuries & 2 radiation burns
- Chernobyl Disaster (April 26, 1986) — Injuries still being accounted for & 31 direct deaths
What Are Common Causes of Chemical Plant Accidents?
In many cases, the causes of chemical plant accidents can be broken down into two categories: natural causes and human error. An example of the first would be the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, where an earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit the power plant—causing three nuclear reactors to meltdown. This, however, is rare; in fact, it is sadly more common to see chemical plant accidents attributed to some form of human errors. To take the Bhopal disaster as an example, it is argued by both the Indian government, as well as activists, that the accident was caused both by both lax management and deferred maintenance.
Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some of the most common causes include:
- Inadequate hazard review or process hazards analysis;
- Inappropriate and/or poorly-designed equipment;
- Inadequate indications of process condition; and
- Warnings about potential problems that were ignored.
Another cause of chemical plant accidents is aging equipment. Watch our video to learn more.
Electrocution & Burns Injury Claims
Two common injuries sustained in chemical plant accidents are electrocutions and burns. Burn injuries can be caused by electrical equipment or chemicals. Whether it is on the skin, in the eyes, or internally, chemical burns lead to severe tissue damage. It is not necessary for a chemical to be on fire or extremely hot to cause a burn—chemical burns often result from a substance’s pH level (acidity or alkalinity), not its temperature.
Ingesting harmful chemicals also leads to severe internal organ injury. The symptoms of these injuries include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Muscle twitches
These burns may not be noticeable at first, so it is crucial to immediately rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes. If you accidentally ingested dangerous chemicals, seek medical attention immediately.
Numerous factors can cause electrocution, including:
- Faulty wiring
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Aging outlets or cables
- Unsafe electrical design
Your Employer’s Obligations
Those who work at chemical plants are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis. The nature of the job is inherently dangerous, which makes it necessary for employers to have robust safety protocols familiar to every worker. An employer’s obligation includes training employees on how to avoid accidents and ensure safe production. It is important to remember that employers may be liable for injuries caused by another employee’s negligence. Employers are responsible for ensuring their workers are fit to work. Employers are also responsible for the state of their plants.
While workplace conditions will always be dangerous in an industrial facility, there are ways to maximize the safety of employees (often through frequent maintenance or updated equipment). However, many employers reduce costs and cut corners by limiting much-needed updates, maintenance, and renovations--resulting in devastating and catastrophic accidents. While workers are usually aware of unsafe conditions, it often doesn’t change until someone files a formal complaint or the employer is held accountable in court. That’s where our firm can help.
Get a Free & Confidential Consultation from Attorneys You Can Trust
The aftermath of any accident at a chemical plant is one of the most confusing, volatile times anyone can experience. It is difficult enough trying to piece your life together without having to worry about the legalities of pursuing a claim. That is why, after you have received proper medical attention, it is crucial that you speak to a knowledgeable attorney about your case. You need an experienced lawyer who has dealt with these types of cases before—someone who knows the ropes and will be able to offer effective legal counsel. You need the industrial injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin. With a decade of experience and billions won, we have proven that we are heavyweights both in and out of the courtroom. To see for yourself, all you need to do is browse through our case results or watch videos to see what our clients have to say.
When you are ready to get started, please fill out our online form to request your free case consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you in the pursuit of justice. Call today at (888) 493-1629.