Plant and Refinery Fires and Explosions
Industrial workers can be prone to accidents and dangers every day in the workplace. Fertilizer plants, refineries, and such places are inherently dangerous, and there can be many threats of explosions and fire in these places. If you or someone you love has been harmed in an explosion while working in a plant, the injuries and potential disabilities can change the course of your life.
Oftentimes, accidents can cause the death of the worker or cause a permanent disability. The United States has the highest number of plant explosion fatalities in the world. Some studies have been done that prove that accidental overheating in plants can exceed a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Even workers who are far away from an explosion this hot can get 3rd degree burns. They can also be injured by falling debris, suffering broken bones and other types of injuries.
Why Do Plant Explosions Happen?
An explosion can happen in a plant or refinery for many reasons. Sometimes it starts as a small fire, or even a small flame like a lit-up cigarette. Since these places handle a lot of flammable chemicals and other materials, the small flame can wreak havoc on the plant and cause a huge fire or explosion. Oftentimes, the explosion of fire can get out of control in a matter of minutes.
Employers can sometimes be liable for these incidents due to negligent acts, such as lack of maintenance of equipment, lack of proper training to workers, lack of proper warning signage, electrical malfunctions, etc. Sometimes employees are the ones responsible for fire and explosion incidents when they don’t follow the safety guidelines they’re supposed to follow.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides very strict rules and regulations for industrial businesses, such as plants and refineries, to follow in order to prevent fires, explosions, and hazardous working conditions for the plants’ employees. Some employers, however, fail to uphold these guidelines, resulting in accidents that could have been prevented in the first place. Employers are also required to provide safety gear. Failure to follow OSHA guidelines can result in an injured worker filing a lawsuit against the employer.
Many industry-related accidents are caused by unsafe working conditions. Oftentimes, accident records are not readily available, but you might be surprised by what you can find in the reports that are available. 197 deaths happened due to explosions in plants and refineries in the United States. The authorities, in cases of accident investigations, found many times that improper care and maintenance were the cause of accidents that could have been prevented.
Industrial machinery can be really complex and requires very qualified personnel for maintenance and upkeep. When machines are not taken care of properly, they are prone to errors. Precision is vital in these machines. Even tiny errors can result in a serious accident or injures, oftentimes causing death. This is why proper training is so important in plants and refineries, as it guarantees, as much as possible, the safety of the employees inside the plant. Many industrial accidents do not get media coverage, thus people think they do not happen, but they do. More times than not, these accidents are related to the negligence of the employer.
If you or a loved one is injured in an explosion or fire in a plant or refinery, it’s important to consult with an experienced lawyer to handle your case. He or she can help you to get compensation for the damages the accident caused. Living with an injury can be life changing. Getting compensation can at least lift some of the financial burden the injury might have caused you or your family.