If you work in an oil refinery in North Dakota or Montana, you probably don't need someone to tell you that your work is dangerous. It is likely something you face each time you arrive for your shift. You do not need to read reports showing how many people suffer life-changing or fatal injuries on the job in this industry. Perhaps you have witnessed co-workers who have suffered injuries in the line of duty.
Nevertheless, even with improved safety technology and awareness of the risks, accidents and injuries are all too common. One of the most common and dangerous incidents an oil refinery employee may experience is an explosion. While your employer may take precautions to ensure your safety, the nature of your job allows little room for error. The smallest mistake or oversight may lead to a catastrophic event that may place you at risk of suffering injuries that could change your life forever.
What are the risks?
An oil refinery explosion involves several factors that, by themselves, are dangerous and life-threatening. Those factors include volatile and caustic chemicals, fire, and high impact blasts. An oil refinery explosion may result in any of the following:
- Third- and fourth-degree chemical burns, which may leave lifelong scars, cause internal damage and require numerous surgeries
- Thermal burns from fire
- Inhalation of chemicals or smoke, causing damage to the lungs
- Traumatic brain injury if the impact from the explosion throws you into another object or onto the ground
- Injuries from flying debris
- Spinal cord injuries if the impact from the explosion causes you to fall from a height
- Injuries to your limbs, including broken bones and amputations
Any of these and other injuries may leave you with a lifetime of pain and suffering, not to mention the grief your family members will feel. The last thing you and your family will want following a catastrophic oil refinery explosion is to fight for the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and ongoing health care issues.
In fact, many who suffer injuries in oil refinery incidents seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible for help with workers' compensation claims and for an evaluation of their cases to determine if third-party negligence contributed to the explosion. With the skill of an attorney on your side, you may be able to maximize the compensation you and your family deserve.