When you think of industrial accidents, the term may bring to mind widespread exposure to dangerous chemicals or some other scenario affecting a large swath of people. In reality, though, these accidents are the types that happen with regularity at factories and refineries all over the world. This is one reason both of these work environments, with their heavy machinery and assortment of equipment, have become known for their potential dangers. If you have been injured while working at one, it’s vital you contact an attorney ASAP to hold responsible parties accountable and get the damages that are rightfully yours.
One reason people get hurt while on the job at industrial sites is because they’re using outdated equipment. The vast majority of industrial jobs involve using some kind of equipment on a daily basis, so if it becomes outdated or otherwise doesn’t work like it should, employees will definitely be at risk.
Part of any employer’s role is providing a safe work environment for their staff. This is true even when their work environment is something as chaotic as a refinery. Having outdated equipment present is unacceptable given how easily it could get someone hurt.
Improperly Trained Staff
Along with various forms of equipment, all factory and refinery workers must work side-by-side with others. Often, teams work in tandem, operating or handling the same machinery at the same time. This is why properly training the staff is so important. It’s not just about getting the job done correctly; it’s also about making sure that employees know how to keep each other safe at all times.
If you end up hurt because of a coworker, you could definitely have a personal injury case against them. However, you may also find that your employer is responsible if it’s discovered that they did not properly train those deemed responsible.
Vendors or Third Parties
Most factories and refineries have a number of vendors or third parties who also do work on the jobsite. Sometimes it might be something as simple as handling deliveries; other times, it’s more involved.
Just like with coworkers, if these third parties are not properly trained or are otherwise acting inappropriately while on the job, it’s easy for someone else to get hurt. Once again, the ensuing lawsuit could include the employer.
There is no shortage of ways fires can break out in a plant or refinery. Industrial worksites generally don’t lack for flammable chemicals, for one thing. Chemical fires can be extremely dangerous and even more difficult to put one than the kind most of us are used to.
Fires that break out at plants are one thing; explosions are something far worse. Believe it or not, explosions at plants are a very real threat. This doesn’t mean that there’s a big chance the entire place will blow up though. Rather, there can be much smaller explosions caused by the combination of various chemicals, heat, friction, etc.
However, in 2013, there was a large explosion that occurred at Western Fertilizer in Waco Texas. The explosion, which was later ruled to be preventable, killed 15 people and leveled an area with a four block radius.
While it may be difficult to predict how such an accident could occur, that’s why there are OSHA regulations in the United States. Amongst other things, these seek to limit the risk factors involved in such a disaster occurring.
When things go wrong at a plant, factory, or refinery, they often leave many people seriously hurt or even worse. An attorney who is experienced with these kinds of cases will be able to bring claims against those responsible. Most importantly, though, their experience will allow them to have the best possible chance of getting justice for their clients.