The oil industry in Lubbock and throughout the state of Texas has always been one of the most dangerous industries anywhere, and as the current oil and gas boom continues, the risk of catastrophic accidents continues unabated. Unfortunately, the increase in demand has created a belief that profits trump worker safety, so the overall safety record of the industry has taken a hit, even as its profits have risen., and Texas oil refinery explosions have occurred.
One of the most dangerous aspects of the oil industry comes with the flammability and explosiveness of the product produced, and it is no better exemplified than with the prevalence of refinery explosions in Texas over the years. These types of accidents are almost always catastrophic in nature, and they tend to ruin lives and families with their devastation. For example, the BP refinery explosion in 2005, which killed 15 people and injured at least 170, still reverberates with Texas families a decade later.
In far too many cases the causes of refinery explosions can be traced back to the oil company’s reluctance to make the proper investments needed to properly repair and maintain defective equipment. For example, the BP refinery disaster was traced to a series of corroded pipes that eventually burst, releasing flammable gasoline vapors into the air. To make matters worse, the alarm systems designed to alert workers and supervisors of a problem also malfunctioned, primarily because they, too, were not properly maintained. Both of these represent examples of employer negligence when it comes to protecting worker and public safety.
There are specific rules that refineries are supposed to follow in order to protect their workers. For example, they are supposed to make sure all flammable liquids are contained safely, and they are required to provide regular inspections of all pressurized containers. They are also supposed to locate buildings that are unprotected, such as offices and administrative headquarters, a safe distance from those they consider hazardous. In addition, there are very strict rules regarding where personnel are supposed to be located during potentially hazardous start-up and shut-down operations while they are being conducted. In addition, workers are required to be fully trained with regard to all safety procedures for their jobs and to occupy certain areas where hazards exist and with regard to preventing possible explosions. In addition, all instrumentation and alarms are supposed to be properly maintained and repaired and kept in perfect working order at all times, and staffing levels must be sufficient to make sure all aspects of working conditions at the refinery are safe.
Contact a Texas Oil Refinery Explosion Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a refinery explosion, whether in Lubbock or anywhere else in Texas, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation, so that we can examine the details of your case and advise you as to your next steps.