Plant explosions are tragic, environmentally harmful, and dangerous. Worst of all, they are nearly always preventable. Plant managers and owners can take steps to stop these tragedies before they happen. But they don't. Industry is the backbone of this country, and it's what has made us a leader for over a century. That's why it bewilders us when companies do not take care of their facilities or their workers—these are things they depend on in order to continue. Companies need workers.
Unfortunately, we've found that plant owners and managers are dangerously short-sighted.
They forego routine maintenance in the name of uninterrupted production, despite the fact that it is more cost-effective to invest into the longevity of the equipment. They treat OSHA regulations regarding equipment updates like afterthoughts rather than the safety tools they were designed to be. They hire workers and put them to work unprepared and ill-trained, endangering everyone's lives.
These are not empty accusations either. These are based on our experience litigating plant explosions nationwide, including the 2013 Olefins Geismar explosion. The root cause of the explosion was Olefins’ failure to follow correct procedure. For the cost of a $5 repair, Williams Olefins LLC could have spared over 160 workers injury, trauma, and death. But they didn’t—and good men paid the price.
That’s why many of these workers have turned to Arnold & Itkin to present their cases. We have already won over $30 million in verdicts for victims of the Geismar explosion, and we aren’t finished yet. We will continue to fight for injured workers until refinery companies prioritize safety above short-term profits.