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Currently Browsing: Explosion Accidents

Risky Business with Refinery Accidents

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It seems that BP just cannot catch a break when it comes to oil. Prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 which made the Gulf of Mexico a toxic wasteland and set the company back billions of dollars, there was the refinery accident in Texas City in 2005 in which a hydrocarbon vapor cloud caused an explosion, killing 15 people and injuring many others.

In both cases, BP and its contractors were found to have been negligent in the sense that there were numerous instances of failing to follow safety regulations. In the Texas City refinery accident, the plant had been found to be in poor condition months prior to the explosion. The company was required to pay huge fines for federal environmental and occupational safety violations as well as millions in claims by the families of those who died and were injured. BP eventually sold the refinery to pay off their obligations.

Oil refineries and oil rigs are inherently dangerous work places, which is why it is so important that those who own such businesses should make safety a priority. Cost-cutting measures at the expense of safety, competence and efficiency usually end badly for all concerned. In the case of BP, plagued by one industrial disaster after another, one would suppose that those in authority should have learned their lesson. Negligence in the workplace costs so much in terms of money and life that it just doesn’t make sense to keep doing it. And yet there are so many instances when big businesses continue making the same mistake over and over again.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a refinery accident due to negligence as a worker or otherwise, the only way to prevent it from happening again is to bring attention to the consequences of ignoring safety regulations. Get a refinery accident lawyer in Texas to represent you to recover your damages and let your story be heard.

Causes of Refinery Explosions

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A refinery explosion is a very devastating event; it can lead to extensive damage, severe injuries, and even death. In these modern times, the use of many chemicals is very common that we have a whole industry specializing in extracting, producing and marketing these products. However, although they have become more accessible, people who are responsible in making these products an everyday convenience are put in a lot of risks and dangers. Accidents that occur in these industrial plants can leave to extreme property damages, severe injuries and even death.

There are many reasons as to what can cause a refinery explosion. Different situations can lead to different reasons for an explosion, some more often or prevalent than others. Natural disasters such as earthquakes or lightning storms can be a factor to these explosions, but other common reasons are:

  1. Unseen corrosion (when metal is slowly worn down through a gradual process)
  2. Irresponsible cigarette smoking (especially around the working areas)
  3. Improper or poor equipment or machinery maintenance
  4. Poorly trained employees (particularly in safety and first aid procedures)
  5. Using impure or dirty chemicals Incorrectly cared for boilers

Blatant violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety rules and regulations is a sure fire way to increase the chances of a refinery explosion. Other reasons for such catastrophe are well blowouts, poor labeling of chemicals or other products, and unsafe and overlooked procedures. Majority of the reasons for these explosions are preventable and man-made, making it an even more devastating and tragic accident.

Because of the volatility of the products in these refineries, even a small explosion can result to a huge catastrophe. Companies who neglect to provide proper safety training or fail to monitor their facilities only opens up the potential of a refinery explosion. Even a small explosion can cause severe physical, emotional, and financial strains to everyone involved. An explosion in an oil refinery can always have devastating consequences.

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