Plant and refinery explosions can have devastating consequences. Oil refineries and oil processing units are expected to follow strict protocols and measures to ensure public safety. There are over ten oil refineries in Houston, TX. While plant and refinery explosions are rare, their occurrence can trigger injuries, property damages, and even deaths.
Employers are expected to give employees a safe work environment as per OSHA regulations. If plant and refinery explosions are caused due to the employer’s negligence, such an employer could face severe legal consequences.
A good Houston explosion accident lawyer can evaluate the explosion accident case, establish negligence and help victims obtain the highest possible compensation.
Causes of Plant and Refinery Explosions
You may note that plant and refinery explosions are not always the result of the employer’s negligence. There have also been cases where lightning strikes and other natural forces instigated plant explosions.
The biggest problem associated with these explosions is the challenge involved in identifying the cause of the explosion.
Some plant and refinery explosions could destroy the plant or refinery. The accident could also cause damage or destroy other establishments and buildings within the vicinity of the oil refinery.
Plant and refinery employers could face severe legal consequences if the breach of duty caused the explosion accident. Common causes of plant and refinery explosions include:
- Lack of proper maintenance
- Improper procedures
- Improper storage of chemicals
- Electrical wiring issues
- Inadequate equipment maintenance
- Smoking cigarettes
- Violation of OSHA safety regulations
- Corrosion in machines
Government authorities and investigators will carry out detailed investigations to find what caused the accident. Victims can file for personal injury damages or workplace compensation based on the nature of the accident.
An expert Houston explosion accident lawyer can help you choose the best strategies and legal course to apply for compensation. Victims involved in an explosion accident are eligible for:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
The at-fault party in the explosion or the defendant should compensate the victim for medical expenses, property damages, loss of wages, and other financial losses. Plant explosion accidents can also result in fatalities.
If an employee or other person died in the accident, the victim’s family is eligible for compensation. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will vary based on the accident type and several other factors.
Types of Injuries
Plant and refinery explosions could cause the most severe burns and other similar injuries. Resultant injuries can even leave a person disabled or paralyzed for prolonged periods. Common injuries from plant and refinery accidents include:
Burns: Victims may sustain first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, and fourth-degree burns. Severe burns affect not only the skin and tissues but also the muscle and even the bone. Burn injuries are the most common industrial injuries, as per the latest statistics.
Inhalation of smoke, soot, and dust from a plant and refinery explosion accident could lead to respiratory problems. Issues like “lung blast” have fatal consequences. You could also suffer from “second-degree smoke injuries” due to explosions.
Plants and refineries generally store various chemicals. The inhalation of chemical fumes has the potential to cause lasting damage to a person’s respiratory system.
Lacerations: Explosions can cause buildings, equipment, and other structures to collapse. People within the establishments or in the vicinity of the establishment could sustain injuries if heavy objects and debris fall on them.
Muscular or Skeletal Problems: Victims can also sustain fractures, muscle sprains, and other similar injuries while trying to escape the site or when heavy objects fall on them during the accident.
Houston accounts for over 44% of Texas’s total oil processing. Numerous factors could trigger plant and refinery explosions.
An experienced Houston explosion accident lawyer can help you get the compensation amount that you are entitled to.