On the night of April 17, 2013, a fertilizer plant located in a small Texas town exploded, as stores of the chemical ammonium nitrate caught fire. The explosion rocked the neighborhood, causing the deaths of at least 15 people and destroying nearby homes and one school.
State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy and other state and federal investigators closely examined the circumstances of the explosion during the next eight months, concluding that unsafe workplace conditions, while not the direct cause, at least contributed to the incident.
In order to promote the importance of safety regulations and fire codes in the workplace, Mr. Conneally then began a statewide tour in December with 68 stops. During each talk, the State Fire Marshal will discuss the circumstances of the West blast and better responses to similar events.
While there has still been no identifiable cause for the fiery explosion, several hazards may have contributed to the size and extent of the damage in the West Texas incident. For example, the ammonium nitrate had been stored in flammable containers, and there was no sprinkler system to prevent the fire from spreading. There also was no fence around the buildings to keep out potential intruders.
Employer Safety Obligations
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are legally responsible for ensuring that employees have a relatively safe environment to work in and must provide adequate training to prevent injuries or accidents. If an employer does not fulfill his or her duty to protect the employees, the employer may be held accountable for the resulting damages.
The Waco workplace accident attorneys at Brown Trial Firm, PLLC are dedicated to protecting your legal rights when an employer fails to meet or uphold certain standards regarding employee safety. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, you may be entitled to take legal action to hold the company that is responsible for the injury accountable. Holding a company accountable for safety violations is often necessary to recover for the injuries to the worker and to ensure that other workers are safe in the future. Contact us online or call our offices at (866) 393-2611 if you believe that employer negligence resulted in your injuries or illness.