The oil and petrochemical industry has traditionally been considered one of the most dangerous environments for workers, and not without due reason. This industry provides a potentially lethal work environment that includes numerous pressurized containers, and inflammable liquids and gases combined with a constant push towards increased production with disregard for safety.
The endless demand for fuel ensures that the oil industry and the refineries that fuel it are run on a highly demanding schedule. In the process, safety regulations often fall by the wayside, resulting in devastating explosions that take a terrible human toll.
There is no reason why refinery workers cannot be kept safe in an environment like this.
Prevention of Refinery Explosions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict regulations for the placement of pressurized containers, and the handling of these containers. In fact, the industry has stringent safety measures, plans and controls in place to prevent disasters. These controls are meant to kick in when there’s an emergency that requires evacuation.
The potentially dangerous nature of the industry demands that these controls and plans be subjected to frequent drills and exercises, so that when there is an actual emergency, every worker knows exactly what needs to be done, when, and how.
Unfortunately, this very often doesn’t happen. Some of the oil and petrochemical refinery explosions that have occurred recently have resulted in heavy worker fatalities, partly because workers were not aware of the right exits, or were not made aware of the emergency situation in time to evacuate the premises safely.
This industry, more than any other, requires that nonessential personnel not be allowed into areas where high risk activities like handling of flammable liquids and gases are going on. Therefore, worker training plays an important part in preventing such explosions.
Refinery explosions are dangerous because of the resultant heavy toll in lives. A single explosion can result in multiple fatalities, and survivors may be left with long-term injuries, including third-degree burns, amputations, internal injuries, spinal injuries and other injuries with a long-term impact.
The California refinery explosion lawyers at the Appel Law Firm LLP represent victims who have been injured in refinery explosions across California.