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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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