According to an article in The New York Times on January 28, 2014, "The United States is facing an industrial chemical safety crisis." While 2013 was hit hard with plant and refinery accidents throughout the nation, 2014 is getting no respite.
The following is a sample of the accidents that have happened so far in 2014:
- 1/20: Fire breaks out at Omaha, Nebraska plant; the building later collapsed
- 1/31: Fire and acid leak occurs at a plant near Martinsburg, West Virginia
- 2/2: Massive coal ash spill occurs in North Carolina; several power plants cited
- 2/6: Chemical spill occurs at Pryor plant in Mayes County, Oklahoma
- 2/12: Accident involving acid spill occurs at refinery in Martinez, California
- 2/20: Explosion at fertilizer storage facility in Northwood, Iowa
- 2/22: Two explosions occurred at a West Tennessee plant
- 3/4: Tank explodes while being welded on in St. Johns County, Florida
January Explosions Caused Fatalities in Nebraska & Oklahoma
In January, four people were killed and 18 others were injured at industrial plants in Nebraska and Oklahoma that experienced explosions on the same day. While no previous violations were on record for the Oklahoma steel plant, the Omaha, Nebraska company had been fined at least twice for safety violations.
These violations included the following:
- In August 2002, a rotating part killed an employee who fell into a mixing tank
- In November 2011, a safety inspection identified six serious violations
Negligence & Plant Accidents
The sad reality is that negligence is often what causes accidents at plants and refineries. In 2013, the parent company of the West Fertilizer Co. in West Texas was sued for negligence in the explosion that killed 14 individuals and injured over 200. The suit claimed that Adair Grain, Inc. acted "with negligence in the operations of its facility, creating an unreasonably dangerous condition, which led to the fire and explosion."
Common industrial negligence causing workplace accidents can include the following:
- Improper Maintenance
- Unsafe Work Conditions
- Failure to Follow Safety Regulations
- Release of Harmful Chemicals / Gases
Take Legal Action with Our Help
If you were injured in a chemical plant accident or lost a loved one, it is important that you speak out immediately. If you were harmed by another party's negligence, it is important that you hold them accountable and be given the opportunity to fight for damages. To learn more about plant explosions, liabilities, and how we can help you, do not hesitate to contact our legal team at Arnold & Itkin today to receive a free consultation. If we are not able to recover compensation for you, you don't owe us a dime!