Oil refineries are not safe for sure. A lot of accidents happen every day. Oil refinery employees should immediately report the incident, and any injuries suffered as many laws require notice of injury to the employer within a certain number of days.
You should contact a refinery explosion lawyer familiar with oil refinery accidents to help navigate the requirements under the law and see if there is a viable claim for recovery.
There are many potential laws under which an injured oil refinery employee, or seafarer, can recover under maritime law. A seafarer is considered a “ward of admiralty” due to the seafarer’s particular vulnerability to the perils of the sea and foreign travel. Below are a couple of laws under which seafarers may recover.
What Kind of Refinery Accidents Are Possible?
Some of the more common accidents that can occur in the refinery setting include:
· Falling objects, materials, or equipment.
· Structural collapse, such as with scaffolding or in a warehouse.
· The slow or catastrophic release of chemicals or toxins.
What Causes a Refinery Accident?
Refinery accidents can have single or multiple causes. Sometimes these cannot be controlled and are simply random occurrences. But often, they are the result of someone’s carelessness or negligence. And on occasion, they occur due to the malicious actions of others. Refinery accidents have occurred as a result of:
· Refinery pollution.
· Equipment malfunction.
· Failure of safety equipment.
· Horseplay in the workplace.
· Inclement weather.
· Inadequate safety rules and policies.
Sadly, many of these refinery accidents (as well as others not listed) are the result of someone not doing what they were supposed to do.
What Kind of Injuries Are Possible in a Refinery Workplace?
No matter where the accident take place or what causes the accident, refinery workers can experience any injury imaginable, including:
· Loss of body parts.
· Electrical, chemical, or fire burns.
· Serious illness, such as cancer.
· Broken bones.
· Loss of one’s senses, such as sight or hearing.
· Back injuries.
Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act has procedures and benefits, much like workers’ compensation. Like the seafarer definition above, the definition and type of worker are relevant in determining which laws apply. According to the Federal Bar Association, “Longshore and harbor workers are individuals who are not seafarers but who are nevertheless employed to work around vessels, such as loading and repairing them.” This includes refinery injuries that occur on land. In other words, this Act may apply even if you do not spend 30% or more of your time on an offshore vessel.
As stated above, reporting an employee’s injuries is a very important step in recovering from an employer. Under this Act, an employee must give notice of a claim under the Act within thirty (30) days of sustaining an injury or become aware/should have become aware that the injury is related to his or her employment.