Every workplace is subject to potential hazards, but with a refinery accident, the stakes are higher than in many other industries. That’s because at oil and chemical refineries, people are working with volatile substances, often under less than ideal conditions. Perhaps the worst industrial disaster in American history was the 1947 BP refinery explosion, which claimed the lives of nearly 600 people. Such catastrophes are not relegated to the history books, unfortunately. There have been several massive refinery accidents in the 21st century, including a 1988 explosion at a Shell oil refinery, which killed eight employees and injured 18, as well as a 2005 explosion at a BP refinery that resulted in 15 fatalities and nearly 200 injuries.
What Types of Injuries Can Occur?
The fatality rate for oil and gas extraction workers is seven times higher than the average US industry. According to an OSHA report, the leading hazards faced by workers in refinery or extraction settings include explosions and fires, falls, chemical exposure, and being struck by or caught in machinery. In the 1988 Shell incident, the majority of hospitalized employees were treated for lacerations due to shrapnel.
What Causes a Refinery Accident?
The leading cause of explosions, fires, and other serious accidents in a refinery setting is human negligence. Insufficient training, inadequate safety measures, and poorly maintained equipment can result in a refinery accident with disastrous consequences.
Protect Your Rights:
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a refinery accident, you need a seasoned professional to protect your rights. The industrial accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Garcia and Ochoa have the experience and knowledge to navigate the red tape and help you obtain both justice and compensation for your losses.