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Fatal workplace accidents still common at Texas refineries

A recent article lamented the fact that, in the last decade, the number of accidents at U.S. oil refineries has barely decreased since a horrific tragedy occurred at a Texas refinery in 2005. Fatal workplace accidents remain a high risk, according to some who claim that profit often comes before safety in many of the nation's refineries. Some have stated that safety in refineries is purchased through injury and death.

In the 2005 accident, approximately 7,600 gallons of highly flammable chemicals let loose at a refinery in Texas City. According to reports, a small spark from a passing vehicle triggered the horrific chain of explosions that amounted to the worst-ever recorded tragedy at a U.S. oil refinery. One worker described the sounds he remembered hearing just before being thrown to the ground by the force of the great explosion. He survived the accident but suffered serious injuries.

Sadly, 15 people died in the tragic event. A recent journalistic investigation showed that the death toll in similar accidents has not decreased by much in the past 10 years. Archive data lists the number of deaths in oil refinery accidents in the last decade as 58. One report blamed deficient safety measures, poor employee training and attempts at cutting costs for the high number of accidents in refineries.

Fatal workplace accidents in Texas and elsewhere often cause tremendous grief and ongoing suffering for the family members who survive the deceased. If negligence or wrongful actions are suspected to have caused the untimely death of a loved one in the workplace, immediate family members may seek a consultation with a legal professional who has experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases in order to determine if there are grounds for filing a lawsuit in a civil court. A successful lawsuit can result in a family being awarded compensation for its loss.

Source: apps.texastribune.org, "Blood Lessons", Jim Malewitz, Mark Collette and Lise Olsen, Accessed on March 31, 2015

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