Industrial hazards combined with a lack of safety standards can have devastating consequences for employees — consequences that can include workplace injuries. Recently in California, an explosion in a fuel distribution facility resulted in the death of one worker and injuries incurred by another. Cal/OSHA fined the facility almost $100,000 for the incidents that ultimately resulted in serious workplace injuries.
This large fine is preceded by a number of past citations against the company for similar violations, including previous explosions. This explosion occurred as employees were working on a 9,000-gallon tanker truck containing crude oil. The truck had not been tested for flammable vapors, which led to the tragic incident. In addition to the fatal injuries sustained by the one California worker, his injured co-worker endured burns to over 50 percent of his body.
This tragic accident is said to have been “preventable,” meaning that vigilance and adherence to safety standards could have prevented the incident. In fact, an emergency restriction order was levied against the company due to a history of dangerous incidents. It is also known that the owner of the fuel distribution facility served time in jail due to a fatal accident that occurred at one of his other industrial facilities.
Based on the citation, it can be presumed that this particular work environment was not safe for employees, nor were safety standards enforced in order to protect employees from workplace injuries. The injured worker and the family of the deceased employee can seek workers’ compensation for their pain and suffering. These benefits are intended to cover medical expenses and other financial losses, such as lost wages.
Source: ehstoday.com, “Cal/OSHA Cites Fuel Distributor Nearly $100,000 After Fatal Explosion“, Josh Cable, Nov. 10, 2014