The arduous and tiring duties of working in an oil refinery, as well as the risks to safety inherent to the entire industry, are only compounded when a company negligently fails to ensure worker safety. Far too often measures that needlessly endanger the lives of those working are employed simply as a means to save money.
Despite records showing a decrease in workplace fatalities occurring within the industry, oil refineries remain an extremely hazardous work environment. The discrepancy in reported fatalities and actual reported loss of life is mainly blamed on the fact that nearly half of all oil refinery workers are hired contractors. The contractors lack the distinction of being considered full-time employees and unfortunately are not counted towards the total number of official fatalities. The BP Oil Refinery disaster in 2005 was one such incident that saw a large number of fatalities though none ever reflected in government records.
The Legal Liability of an Unsafe Workplace
Despite their numbers not being applicable to official counts and the lack of a full-time title contractors working on oil refineries are privy to the same protections afforded to all employees by law. It is the responsibility of the refinery to ensure and maintain a safe workplace environment for everyone working on the refinery itself, as it is equally the responsibility of any third party agency tasked with overseeing the facility.
Failure to do not only endangers the lives of all the workers but opens both the refinery and third party up to legal ramifications. Wrongful death suits and personal injury claims can be brought against both if the case of negligence is determined.
Refinery’s Workplace Fatalities Can Be Preventable Incidents
It is often reported that the driving factor behind the majority of incidents resulting in injuries could have prevented if proper measures were followed. Simple procedures such as training employees in correct safety regulations or ensuring safety supervision would be instrumental in reducing the number of hazards facing oil refinery workers. The already difficult situation is further hampered by policies that do not extend the same protection and rights provided by OSHA onto contractors.
Third Party Liabilities
Companies responsible for manufacturing components for oil refineries can also be subject to the same liabilities facing the refineries themselves if a company is found to be producing an component that has been updated for a safer model. If you have been injured due to an oil refinery explosion, our network of experienced personal injury attorneys can fight for your case. Call 1-888-854-8989 for a free legal consultation today.
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