The oil and gas industries keep this country going. Every day dedicated men and women go to work in oil plants and refineries to do the jobs that keep the country’s electricity on and their cars running. Oil plant and refinery explosions, chemical plant fires, and other accidents threaten to severely injure those men and women. Sometimes, they even prevent them from coming home at all. Often, there is blame to go around for these accidents. That means that the injured deserve compensation from the negligent parties. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in an oil plant or refinery explosion you may deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. You should know your rights and who to contact if your life was forever changed as the result of an oilfield, refinery, or chemical plant, accident.
What Causes Oil Plant and Refinery Explosions and Accidents?
The cause of these types of accidents varies but there is almost always a common thread. Somewhere along the line someone either made a mistake or sacrificed safety for convenience/profitability. Below are a few actual examples of catastrophes in the oil and gas industry and their causes.
Texas City, Texas 2005
In March 2005 a massive explosion (actually 5 separate explosions) took place at BP’s refinery in Texas City, Texas. The explosion was the deadliest in the refinery’s history leaving 15 dead and more than 100 people injured.
The investigation revealed that a 6-inch drain that led to the sewer was chained open. This could have allowed fumes to travel under the refinery and provide the fuel for the explosions.
Additionally, in 1992 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the refinery and mandated that they equip their tower vents with a flare system. The flare system ignites potentially harmful materials before they exit the towers. In 1998 BP merged with Amoco and they appealed the decision. OSHA withdrew the complaint and the refinery continued to use the system that allowed hazardous gases to escape.
Anacortes, Washington 2010
The Tesoro Anacortes Refinery was one of Washington’s worst industrial accidents in history. The accident claimed seven lives and the CSB determined that the fire was caused by the catastrophic failure of a 40-year-old heat exchanger. In the following years, the oil refinery was fined $720,000 for safety violations. Those fines did not include the faulty unit that caused the 2010 accident.
What Can We Learn From These Accidents?
Both of these tragedies could have been prevented. They were each caused by factors that could have been prevented. In the Texas accident, the chained open sewer and the company’s unwillingness to change their out of date system could have led directly to the accident.
The Tesoro disaster was most likely a result of the old heat exchanger. The entire accident could have been avoided if proper maintenance and replacement procedures were followed.
Accidents like these, as well as other examples, cause much pain and suffering. The families of the deceased and injured deserve compensation from those who could have taken action to avoid the tragedies. Qualified refinery accident lawyers can help the victims get the compensation that they deserve. Often, this compensation is needed to regain some semblance of their old lives.
What Can a Houston Plant Explosion Lawyer do for Victims of Refinery Accidents?
A good lawyer will work with their client during the whole process. They will listen to the victim’s needs and advise them on the best course of action. They will also litigate on their behalf and fight for the compensation that they deserve for their pain and suffering. Additionally, refinery accident lawyers understand the intricacies of the industry and will not blame the victim. Just because a worker was in the vicinity of the accident does not mean that they were at fault.
Morrow and Sheppard LLP are Houston refinery accident lawyers that have the education, experience, and desire to fight for the rights of the victims of oilfield and refinery accidents as well as many other types of accidents. They understand the importance and the dangers of the oil industry and believe that through their litigation they will not only help victims but they will help the industry increase their safety.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or wrongful death as a result of an oilfield, refinery, or chemical plant accident you deserve to know your options. Contact Morrow and Sheppard LLP to learn how we can help make this difficult process as easy as possible on you and your family. We will discuss your case, help you to determine your best course of action, and we won’t get paid for your case unless we win. We can also litigate a variety of other cases including industrial accidents and many other areas of injury law.
You don’t have to fight for compensation alone. You deserve help from Morrow and Sheppard LLP, Houston refinery explosion attorneys.