Industrial Accidents and Explosions
The IFRCRCS defines an industrial accident as when a threat to someone originates from a dangerous procedure, failure of infrastructure, negligent human activities, and anything which may cause injury, property damage, social and economic disruption, environmental degradation, and the loss of life. When these accidents happen, they can be dismissed as the price of doing business. In many cases, these are preventable industrial accidents that come with a real and devastating price for workers and their families. These families are entitled by state and federal law to recover damages from the responsible party or parties, along with their parent companies.
Baytown is a major producer of oil and petrochemicals. Our state is home to one of the largest concentration of oil refineries, plants, and petrochemical production facilities in the nation. Texas has over 25 refineries, many of which are close to Baytown. Baytown itself is home to the second largest oil refinery in the U.S. with a capacity of 584,000 barrels per day. This does not even include all the offshore platforms within the state and industrial areas in the Port of Houston. Unfortunately, workers in these industries are more likely to experience an injury or death than others. These include from accidents involving burns from fire or chemicals, poisoning from fumes, exposure, slip and falls, falling objects, faulty stair and railways, and more.
Industrial explosions put workers at risk of chemical exposure and severe burn injuries. In addition, they also endanger the communities in the surrounding areas. These explosions can occur in a factory, power plant, industrial warehouse, factory, construction site, or manufacturing plant. These industrial explosions have also occurred in more safely regarded workplaces such as food processing, scientific, pharmaceutical, brewing, and similar facilities.
An industrial explosion in Baytown can occur during the handling of a variety of chemicals and equipment within a confined space while manufacturing or even transporting products. This is especially true when proper safety and handling procedures were not followed by one or more people. Employers and their third party contractors are required to thoroughly train their workers to handle combustible chemicals and other sensitive materials that can cause an industrial explosion. This also includes having proper safety equipment in place and functioning including smoke detectors, hazardous material leak detectors, suppression equipment, and more.
Industrial explosions in Baytown can occur for numerous reasons that include but are not limited to:
- The unintentional ignition of combustible gases and dusts
- Unanticipated chemical reactions
- The rupture of pressure vessels
- Faulty fuel tanks
- Forklifts and other vehicles colliding with chemicals
- Old and worn out pipes, supply lines, storage tanks, etc.
- Inadequate ventilation