Although refinery explosions and fires should be relatively rare events, they occur more often than you would think. If you were severely injured in a refinery explosion, then it is vitally important to obtain experienced legal counsel. The oil company will do everything it can to limit your opportunity to seek a full financial settlement. They may also attempt to hide any evidence that portrays them in a negative light. When negligent safety practices cause an injury, we must investigate the accident scene and uncover any necessary proof. Our refinery explosion lawyer at Zehl & Associates have experience representing oil refinery accident victims and will work hard to obtain the required evidence. We have a deep understanding of the petrochemical industry and can help you navigate the Texas legal system.
What Are Common Causes of Oil Refinery Accidents?
While refinery turnarounds are particularly dangerous for oil workers, there are several common causes of oil refinery accidents. They include:
- Mechanical Wear and Tear. After being used for a certain period of time, the metal in equipment and machinery will begin to wear down. If regular inspections and maintenance are not performed, then the metal could weaken and corrode. In certain cases, the surrounding environment will begin oxidation after metal starts to corrode.
- Dangerous chemicals. Federal regulations govern the quality and usage of chemicals in oil refineries. When an impure or dirty chemical is used, a dangerous chemical reaction can occur. This will typically result in a fire or explosion that causes mass casualties and severe injuries.
- Electrical problems. When the electrical system in an oil refinery is not properly installed or maintained, workers can be exposed to abnormal levels of electricity. This can cause electrical burns and other life-threatening injuries.
- Improper maintenance. If equipment, such as boilers, pressure vessels and storage tanks are not properly maintained, then deadly accidents can occur. You will likely experience a severe injury if an important piece of equipment is not adequately maintained.
- Inadequate ventilation. Your employer must provide adequate ventilation and follow federal regulations when you are working. A lot of hazardous chemicals, flammable gases and vapors are contained within confined spaces at an oil refinery. Too much or too little oxygen could cause a dangerous fire or explosion to emerge.
- Vehicle collisions. When operating heavy machinery, workers can crash into one another. Oil workers are often operating forklifts and other equipment in confined spaces. If the proper protocol is not followed, then a serious injury or fatality could occur.
Contact Our Houston Oil Refinery Accident Lawyer at Zehl & Associates Firm Today
Although there are strict federal regulations overseeing oil refineries, severe accidents can and do still occur. While workers must follow safety protocol, there are times where the oil company is responsible for your injuries. Our Houston oil refinery accident law firm will review your case and determine the percentage of negligence for the oil company.