morrow-sheppard-personal-injury-law-firm-logo-m@2x
800-489-2216
Free Consultation

Five Leading Causes of Refinery Fires and Explosions

October 11, 2022

Throughout the recent years, the media has been riddled with reports of refinery fires and explosions. These refinery fires and explosions have severely injured and even killed workers, placed surrounding neighborhoods and residents at risk for chemical exposure, caused major structure fires, and even forced cities to evacuate until the area is deemed “safe” to return.

A highly volatile concoction of hazardous chemicals and negligent oversight can lead to lift-altering results. No matter the hazards or dangers that exist, refinery workers have every right to work in the safest working environments possible because there is not doubt that safety is the most important aspect in any workplace. Unfortunately, refinery explosions are repeatedly a result of numerous factors contained within this article, we expand on each of the leading causes of refinery fires and explosions in the U.S.

Violations of OSHA’s Safety Regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all refineries and plants in the U.S. to follow OSHA’s required safety protocols and procedures. These safety protocols and procedures include providing a safe working environment for all refinery workers. The vast majority of work accidents occur when safety regulations are not followed and refinery workers are put at risk. This is especially true when employers go out of their way to disregard safety protocols and minimize maintenance costs in order to increase production with the hopes of increasing profits. When this occurs, employers should be found negligent in their duties to provide a safe work environment if a refinery explosion occurs and workers are injured or killed as a result.

OSHA fines, issues citations, and penalizes employers that fail to provide their workers with anything less than a safe working environment. The owner of that company is responsible for making sure every measure is taken to guarantee the safety and health of their workers, as well as the residents of the surrounding communities.

OSHA’s general standards for employers include, but are not limited to:

  • Create, provide and maintain a safe workplace environment free of hazards by following all safety and health requirements;
  • Frequently, and consistently, check and monitor workplace conditions in order to confirm they are safe and hazard-free;
  • Make sure workers have and work with proper equipment and safety tools;
  • Conduct routine maintenance on, and replace as needed, all equipment and tools used by workers;
  • Thoroughly train workers in health and safety procedures, and ensure workers understand and appreciate the risks involved if they don’t adhere to those procedures by frequently reviewing those standards and procedures with them;
  • Warn all workers of any and all hazards in their work environment;
  • Notify OSHA within eight (8) hours of an accident, including if three or more workers are injured or if a fatality occurs.

Refinery Fires and Explosions

Refineries regularly work with and handle a variety of highly flammable materials and chemicals. Because of this they are infamous for catching fire and filling the sky with smoke in a wide radius around their location. When fires are ignited within a refinery, the chances are high that fire will start a chain reaction within the refinery, ultimately leading to an explosion. There are countless areas, within a refinery, that are under enormous amounts of pressure. If pockets of pressurized flammable materials or chemicals ignite, they could certainly explode causing devastating results throughout and around the refinery.

Failure to Properly Train and Instruct Employees

In the vast majority of refineries and industrial facilities today, workers are required to monitor, observe and work hands-on during manufacturing and production processes. Thus, it is imperative that employees are adequately trained on how to properly use all heavy machinery and safety equipment. However, many refinery workers are taught how to perform their jobs, “on the job,” and are not provided with thorough knowledge and expertise on the specific processes they are required to monitor or observe as part of their job duties. These inadequate and improper ways to “train” employees lead to errors, which can ultimately lead to life-altering or life-ending accidents or explosions within the workplace.

Failure to Properly Maintain Equipment

Refineries repeatedly use pressurized vessels, storage tanks, boilers, and various other equipment to store chemicals and other products of the refinery. Metal work is also an integral aspect of oil and gas processing, as many facilities use metal piping for transporting all liquid and gaseous products. Failure to properly maintain these things frequently leads to them becoming corroded, worn down or broken, which can lead to malfunctions, fires and explosions. Specifically regarding metal piping, if metal is worn down in an area that cannot be seen, it can weaken and corrode which can lead to safety valves on essential equipment to malfunction.

Refinery managers and supervisors should keep regular notes and records of maintenance performed on these items, as well as regularly schedule and perform routine maintenance of these items. However, that is not always the case, and refineries frequently fail to schedule and perform routine maintenance on these items because doing so would be time and money spent on maintenance and not time spent making a profit. As you can see, failure to do this puts all workers and bystanders in harm’s way.

Dirty Products and Chemical Impurities

Refineries process and use a wide array of chemicals and substances throughout their processing. Today, most refineries (not all) use high purity chemicals to carry out their processing. However, using chemicals containing impurities can jeopardize the entire manufacturing process and create defective products, which can cause chain reactions resulting in explosions within the refinery.

Top-Rated Refinery Injury Attorneys Can Help

The causes listed above are by no means the only ways which lead to or cause refinery fires and explosions, but they are the causes most often seen as a result of a refinery fire and explosion. The causes of refinery explosions are usually preventable, which makes these explosions all the more heartbreaking knowing that they could have been avoided. Frequently, when these unfortunate instances occur, an employer has been negligent and failed to provide its workers with a safe work environment and should be held liable. If you, or a loved one, has recently been injured or killed in a refinery fire or explosion, your best option is to get an experienced refinery injury attorney in your corner who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call Morrow & Sheppard, LLP at (800) 489-2216 for a free consultation and initial case evaluation.

  1. Home
  2. |
  3. Plant, Refinery & Industrial Accidents
  4. |
  5. Five Leading Causes of Refinery...

Get A 100% Free, Confidential Consultation

When the insurance company calls, do not speak to them! They are after their own interests, and it can hurt your case.

Act now to protect your legal rights, contact us for a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL consultation today! We are available 24/7.


    300

    Recent Blog Posts

    Blog Categories

    We Get Results

    0
    Maritime Lawsuit
    0
    Traumatic Brain Injury – Oilfield Injury
    0
    Oil & Gas Burn Injury
    View More Results

    What Our Clients Are Saying

    Chris West is an excellent addition to the Morrow & Sheppard team. His skill set, dedication, and overall reliability he brings to the firm and clients are uncanny. You will not be disappointed.
    Candace M.
    Candace M.
    00:33 07 Sep 22
    I highly recommend the Morrow & Sheppard to anyone. They are an incredible group that did an outstanding job to make sure I got the highest settlement for my case. Attorney Daniel and his staff are all outstanding professionals with some serious case law knowledge and skill. His group went the... extra mile for me and because of that, my life has forever changed. Thank you Attorney Daniel and everyone that’s a part of his firm that worked so hard. I really appreciate you!read more
    Melis R.
    Melis R.
    20:36 25 Aug 22
    I am Extremely Happy with Morrow & Sheppard Lawfirm. I worked closely with Daniel Sheppard and Chris on my case. They were diligent in handling my law case matter to resolution. Daniel would keep me up to date with the status of my case and Chris would also ensure all my paper work was submitted... in a timely manner. I am Very Happy with the Outcome! Thank you Daniel and Chris. I highly recommend their services and would not hesitate to use them again.read more
    D P.
    D P.
    15:43 07 Jul 22
    Very strong and courageous law firm I recommend to anyone who has suffered a injury from companies who need to be held responsible for lack of safety and security, my family is set for life and with these lawyers never backing down and fighting for truth behind every case and seeking the best... future for our family has given our family a second chance at being able to make it in life and holding companies accountable lifting burdens off our lives, very proud and beyond blessed to have had them fight the fight and have a tremendous outcome for our future. Along with a great and kind staff we HIGHLY recommend this law firm.read more
    Nikki L.
    Nikki L.
    23:11 13 May 22
    Very strong and courageous law firm I recommend to anyone who has suffered a injury from companies who need to be held responsible for lack of safety and security, my family is set for life and with these lawyers never backing down and fighting for truth behind every case and seeking the best... future for our family has given our family a second chance at being able to make it in life and holding companies accountable lifting burdens off our lives, very proud and beyond blessed to have had them fight the fight and have a tremendous outcome for our future. Along with a great and kind staff we HIGHLY recommend Marrow&Sheppard LLP.(Nick Marrow)(John Sheppard)read more
    Nikki L.
    Nikki L.
    04:43 12 May 22
    I was a client for 2.5 years after a car accident in 2019 and represented by Patrick McGinnis. He was knowledgable, compassionate, and level headed.His assisting paralegal, Ramona Anaya, was reliable, knowledgable, and kind in all our interactions.They went above and beyond to help me navigate... everything that unfolded after my car accident. They were able to secure a favorable settlement before trial.I’m very happy to have had Morrow&Sheppard Firm represent me.read more
    Mars G
    Mars G
    11:54 20 Mar 22
    I had a accident and I chose morrow&sheppard they was great from the start to the finish Chris was real informative and helpful was the whole process and got me a fair settlement they really care about there Clients if you in a car accident call them
    Richard L.
    Richard L.
    18:15 03 Mar 22
    After a car accident last year I went to Morrow & Sheppard for assistance. Jose and Chris were exceptionally accommodating and handled my case with professionalism. They're primary concern was my well being and they went above and beyond to ensure I would receive the best settlement possible. A... very efficient and dedicated team!read more
    Amanda W.
    Amanda W.
    20:20 16 Feb 22
    I've been in the legal field for a while now and not only do I know John Sheppard & Nick Morrow, I have attorney friends that have worked with them throughout the years. This is a great firm and great people that work at Morrow & Sheppard. I have been reading the reviews on here and it makes me... happy to see that their clients think as highly of them as I do.read more
    Susan L.
    Susan L.
    00:17 15 Feb 22
    I was injured and my business closed down due to an accident in 2016. Daniel Sheppard became my greatest asset. He hired professional experts for their views and opinions as well as conducting numerous depositions. Daniel is hard working and no nonsense when handling your case. Daniel keeps you... informed on what's going on and what to expect. I'm from Louisiana and my case was in Texas. Daniel Sheppard worked alone side my other attorney Yuri Beck, and the both of them did a fantastic job representing me and settling my case. Daniel Sheppard of Morrow & Sheppard in Texas and Yuri Beck of Hunter & Beck in Louisiana are my lawyers for LIFE.read more
    Dale S.
    Dale S.
    14:24 04 Jan 22
    Nick Morrow and John Sheppard were the lead attorneys on my case to hold an apartment complex with inadequate security responsible for the death of my son. The two of them were focused and determined to represent me and my son's children with tenacity. As the case continued over time, it became... apparent that we were not merely clients that were a means to a financial end to them but people who had experienced a life changing and devastating loss. They realized that as a result of our loss, there needed to be accountability that could only be obtained through legal actions. Throughout the legal process, Nick Morrow and John Sheppard were not only professional and transparent but also compassionate and empathetic as they lead us through the difficult and sometimes confusing legal maze. Every person in their office that was involved with our case exemplified an extension of the genuine concern that began with attorneys Morrow and Sheppard. I have and will continue to recommend this firm to individuals who find themselves in need of legal representation.read more
    Rosie E.
    Rosie E.
    18:18 23 Nov 21
    Nick Marrow and John Sheppard were the lead attorneys on my case to hold an apartment complex with inadequate security responsible for the death of my son. The two of them were focused and determined to represent me and my son's children with tenacity. As the case continued over time, it became... apparent that we were not merely clients that were a means to a financial end to them but people who had experienced a life changing and devastating loss. They realized that as a result of our loss, there needed to be accountability that could only be obtained through legal actions. Throughout the legal process, Nick Marrow and John Sheppard were not only professional and transparent but also compassionate and empathetic as they lead us through the difficult and sometimes confusing legal maze. Every person in their office that was involved with our case exemplified an extension of the genuine concern that began with attorneys Marrow and Sheppard. I have and will continue to recommend this firm to individuals who find themselves in need of legal representation.read more
    Rosie E.
    Rosie E.
    17:17 23 Nov 21
    The legal team at Morrow and Shepherd worked hard to help me win my case where a motorist who caused the accident changed her story and lied about the accident. A previous attorney kept telling me that I would probably have to pay some of the medical costs out of my own pocket.Daniel, my... attorney, assured me that he would it is best to make sure this did not happen and that he would fight to get me the best compensation possible. He was true to his word.I'm happy with their work, happy with the compensation and would definitely use them again.The Legal Assistant, Chris, was always professional, friendly and polite and a pleasure to work with.A big thanks to the team!Donread more
    Don D.
    Don D.
    01:52 21 Nov 21
    Nick and his group have helped where they can and are working hard to get a resolution to my injuries. I spoke with 4 different law firms prior to choosing Morrow & Sheppard LLP.ThanksJeff
    Jeff N.
    Jeff N.
    19:28 18 Nov 21
    My Husband was injured at work, & with not knowing what to do or where to turn.We can say Thanks to John,& Jimenez @ Marrow & Sheppard,that represented my Husband we are very Satisfy & happy with the outcome and would recommend them to any others seeking professional lawyers. thanks to Morrow &... Sheppard.read more
    bella L.
    bella L.
    04:24 22 Sep 21
    I was referred to Daniel Sheppard because of a car accident I had been in. I was very impressed with how he told me about the process of how things worked and the things to expect. He was very forth coming and always supportive. The experience was a positive one and ended on a great note! I highly... recommend him.Elizabeth Varonread more
    Elizabeth Swanson V.
    Elizabeth Swanson V.
    01:25 03 Sep 21
    Before I engaged John Sheppard, I was concerned that I might lose my case. However, John came onboard, turned things around, and set me on a good course to win. He got up to speed quickly on the facts and determined exactly what we needed to do. He is great at strategy, filing discovery and... other motions, and arguing before the court. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of my case. If you need legal help in a personal injury action, commercial law or whatever, hire him immediately! He is a pleasure to work with, will thoroughly explain all to you in a manner you can understand, and will get you the best possible outcome. A+++read more
    Christine E.
    Christine E.
    01:20 11 May 21
    I was seriously injured and they represented me and I was so happy with the outcome and would recommend them to any others seeking professional lawyers. They also set me up with the best doctors. My son and I have now put this lawsuit behind us thanks to Morrow & Sheppard.
    BB C.
    BB C.
    18:53 22 Apr 21
    I was in a Commercial vehicle accident 2019. I was seriously injured & still trying to heal. My life was completely turned upside-down. Morrow & Sheppard received a call from me & helped me immediately. They listened to every detail and cared about all my pain & suffering. They were on top of my... case from beginning to end. I was sent to therapy and surgeons always given the medical treatment I needed. Moriah was phenomenal... she cared about me. She wanted me to get the justice I deserved. Chris & Michelle were always helping me..No matter what time it was they would always respond to my calls. My attorney John, was awesome!..He went out of his way to get justice for me. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Morrow & Sheppard. They will FIGHT FOR YOU. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐read more
    Trudy Nuñez M.
    Trudy Nuñez M.
    22:27 31 Mar 21
    I had the opportunity to work with Nick and his team on a case. They were professional and ready to work. But more importantly, they passionate about representing their client. I have no problem referring my friends and family to Nick and his team because I know they will be taken care of!
    Elizabeth L.
    Elizabeth L.
    22:48 15 Mar 21
    Phenomenal lawyer. I can not heap enough praise on these guys,.
    Stephen T.
    Stephen T.
    03:28 04 Nov 20
    Nick Morrow is a GREAT lawyer that really knows his job. He made me feel comfortable about hiring him to handle my case. He’s trustworthy and very compassionate about his work. His staff is awesome also, everyone was nice and friendly to me when I visited the office. The settlement I received... exceeded my expectations, it was four times what I expected. I would highly recommend Morrow and Sheppard to anyone needing legal representation. Thanks again Nick!!read more
    Houston R.
    Houston R.
    21:08 27 May 20
    I was injured working offshore. Morrow & Sheppard handled my maritime case and won a great settlement for me. If you have been injured at work, Morrow & Sheppard are great offshore injury lawyers.
    tim C.
    tim C.
    02:19 30 Nov 19
    Morrow & Sheppard won my family a multimillion dollar settlement in a wrongful death case after my kids’ father died. The settlement money will help make sure my family is taken care of, and that my kids can go to college. If you have a wrongful death case or a loved one dies at work, call Morrow... & Sheppard. They will take care of you.read more
    Dwana M.
    Dwana M.
    16:26 27 Nov 19
    I worked with Nick Morrow, John Sheppard, Daniel Sheppard, Patrick McGinnis, and Chris West on my maritime injury case. These guys were incredible. I was injured badly working on a tugboat, and was forced to leave my career. These lawyers assured me I had a right to recover damages under the Jones... Act, even when several other lawyers turned down my case. Morrow & Sheppard went above and beyond. They took on costs like hiring expensive experts and taking depositions so that I could be in the best position to prove my case. I watched them handle every excuse the defense lawyers threw at me, and ultimately forced the defendant’s hand in to paying me what I deserved. Morrow & Sheppard always kept me informed and up to date on my case, and developed a personal relationship with me. I would give them the highest recommendation. I still keep in touch with them, and look forward to seeing them whenever I pass through Houston.read more
    Brent L.
    Brent L.
    19:50 18 Nov 19
    Morrow & Sheppard helped me when my employer breached my contract. They took the case from start to finish, and won our trial. If you’ve been injured or wronged at work, call Morrow & Sheppard.
    Ky E.
    Ky E.
    22:53 14 Nov 19
    I suffered a work injury when the work vehicle I was riding in was involved in an accident with another car. Morrow & Sheppard took my case and won a great settlement for me. If you need a work injury attorney, I highly recommend Morrow & Sheppard.
    Dinah R.
    Dinah R.
    00:39 12 Nov 19
    These guys were there when I needed help and advisement..Don’t waste your money or time going elsewhere..thank you Nick and thank you to Chris also..great people
    Steven K.
    Steven K.
    14:43 05 Jan 19
    Nick Morrow and John Sheppard are the best. I was paralyzed in a work injury. Several other lawyers turned down my case. Morrow & Sheppard hired expensive experts, took dozens of depositions, and proved my case. I saw them in court against a team of defense lawyers, and the defense lawyers... didn’t stand a chance. Morrow & Sheppard took my case all the way when nobody else would. Now my family is set up for life. Throughout the process, they kept me updated and made me feel like I was more than a number. I still talk to Nick to this day. Morrow & Sheppard exceeded my expectations in every way, and I cannot recommend them enough. If you are injured at work, call Morrow & Sheppard.read more
    jeff H.
    jeff H.
    23:20 17 Oct 18
    John Sheppard and Nick Morrow were two of the brightest stars in my law school class and my class of lawyers at Fulbright & Jaworski, one of the most elite and prestigious law firms in Houston and Texas. I have known both of them for well over a decade now and throughout that time they have both... always lived up to the highest standards of intellect, tenacity, and professionalism. They are both winners. If you need a Houston lawyer who will stand up for your rights and get you the justice you deserve, I wholeheartedly recommend Morrow & Sheppard. read more
    Holt L.
    Holt L.
    20:39 17 Jul 15
    John Sheppard, with Morrow & Sheppard LLP, is brilliant. On more than one occasion, he successfully represented various affiliated companies I was part of. John is very diligent, thorough and fights hard for righteousness. There were numerous times that he helped us through extremely difficult... moments. John is very professional, responsive and respectful. I highly endorse Morrow and Sheppard LLP for legal representation and/or legal assistance needs. read more
    Don K.
    Don K.
    21:19 15 Jul 15
    My experience with John, at Morrow and Sheppard, during my company’s litigation was better than I could have imagined (considering the circumstances of being involved in litigation). What stood out to me the most, was John’s tenacity in preparation. I later realized this came from two places, one... he didn’t want to lose and two (and most importantly) he CARED so much about me getting justice. I cannot stress this enough, when you are dealing with a lawyer that truly cares, then all of the other stresses I had around the case seemed to go away. I was always kept up to date with what was going on in our case, and he always made it very clear he was just an email or call away! In addition to these attributes, he also knows the law and is willing to fight for what is right! It would be tough to find another lawyer that is as highly effective, skilled, knowledgeable, ethical and has such an impeccable reputation (which is well deserved). I would recommend Morrow and Sheppard to anyone seeking out a law firm, in the event they needed counsel.read more
    Brian R
    Brian R
    16:04 14 Jul 15
    Nick and John are a great team. They are both honest, trustworthy and have a tenacious work ethic on behalf of their clients. They stand behind these qualities, having left partnerships at great law firms to commit 100% to achieving results for individuals and businesses. They will fight for... you and I'm proud to call them clients and friends.read more
    Jim B.
    Jim B.
    13:58 13 Jul 15
    John and Nick are outstanding lawyers. They are both extremely sharp, skilled, hard-working, and passionate about what they do. I would highly recommend either of them to anyone looking for high-level service that also happens to be affordable.
    Will M.
    Will M.
    22:08 10 Jul 15
    Morrow & Sheppard would be my first call for legal assistance. I have known Nick Morrow for years and I cannot say enough positive things about him. He is smart, dedicated, ethical, dependable, and very thorough with every client. I would strongly recommend this firm to anyone looking for top of... the line legal assistance. read more
    Anne Louise C.
    Anne Louise C.
    15:28 24 Jun 15
    Morrow & Sheppard LLP is an outstanding law firm. I have known Nick Morrow for many years. He is honest, hardworking, and very attentive to his clients. I could not recommend him enough for your legal needs.
    Caroline B.
    Caroline B.
    21:25 23 Jun 15
    js_loader
    View Our Testimonials
    Go to Top