Chemicals are part of our everyday life, but unfortunately we are sometimes forced to pay the price. Nearly every work environment has some risk for experiencing a chemical explosion, but for workers at industrial and chemical plants, they are statistically exposed to a significantly higher risk. By the creation of gases, the build-up of heat, and chemical reactions, a chemical plant can become a source of serious and sometimes lethal explosions.
When an explosion occurs at a chemical or industrial plant, OSHA and the U.S. Chemical and Safety Board (CSB) often scramble to investigate the cause of the explosion. The CSB has identified poorly maintained facilities as the leading cause for an explosion at a chemical plant. When plant operators ignore safety regulations concerning the plant equipment, the risk of explosion increases dramatically. Safety critical equipment, such as catalysts, reagents, and boilers, are especially important for proper maintenance. OSHA will issue fines and citations to plant operators that fail to provide employees with a safe work environment. It is the responsibility of the plant operator to ensure the safety and health of all persons on site, as well as those in the surrounding communities. The causes of plant explosions are usually preventable, which makes explosions all the more tragic.
As part of providing a safe work environment, plant operators are charged with ensuring all employees have received appropriate training to work in a chemical plant. Training must include providing employees an excellent understanding of the necessary machinery and chemicals, the dangers for combustion, and the risks associated with certain job tasks. All employees must be trained on how to prevent combustion and how to avoid any hazardous situations involving mixing chemicals or using an open flame near flammable materials. When plant operators underrate the importance of great training for employees, it can result in a devastating accident at the work site.
Recently, the W. R. Meadows plant in Hampshire, Illinois, experienced a chemical explosion – tragically killing at least one individual. W. R. Meadows manufactures asphalt and concrete products for building construction. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation by state and federal authorities. Following an industrial explosion, it is critical to preserve evidence that will shed light on the cause of the explosion. It is highly likely that defective equipment, poor maintenance, human error or improper training played a role in this tragic explosion.
The attorneys at Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims, P.C. are experienced at prosecuting wrongdoers following industrial explosions to compensate the injured and their loved ones following explosions. Recognized for their leadership and capabilities, the firm is already serving as lead counsel on behalf of multiple employees tragically involved in another industrial manufacturing explosion. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an industrial explosion, contact the experienced explosion attorneys at Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims, P.C. to discuss your legal rights.
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