Although any number of factors can cause a power plant explosion, these disasters usually follow the same pattern. They are almost always caused by outdated equipment or safety procedures that are not updated or no longer relevant. In most cases, these issues are completely preventable but are not corrected, for whatever reason. Typically, such negligence is tied to saving money, as updating facility equipment or safety procedures can cost a business money, time and material.
What typically causes a power plant explosion?
Energy generation facilities consume a tremendous amount of fuel and various chemicals during operation, and these materials produce a lot of heat when exhausted. This excess heat has to be diverted away from sensitive equipment or it can result in an uncontrolled conflagration. If heat controls fail for any reason, fire and subsequent disaster is likely imminent. Heat controls have to be closely monitored and maintained or they can quickly fail. When this is the cause of a fire, it is usually because the heat control equipment is too old or because a technician stopped paying attention.
Open flames and electricity are also a risk in any facility, and especially in facilities that handle large amounts of combustibles. If a flame is not controlled, such as a worker lighting up a cigarette in an unsafe area, or if faulty wiring results in a spark, the effects can be devastating and immediate.
If people knew just how outdated some of these facilities were, it would shock them. The Texas City refinery disaster in 2005 claimed 15 lives and injured nearly 200. Following an investigation into the plant, a safety panel concluded that BP’s safety procedures were woefully inadequate and that in some parts of the facility, equipment had not been updated in decades. Attorneys experienced in the area have encountered facilities that have equipment used extensively in the 50s. Financial and management issues are usually behind outdated plants.
What kind of injuries can a power plant explosion cause?
These disasters normally result in severe or fatal injuries, especially in those who are near the initial conflagration. Even workers who are hundreds of feet away can be seriously hurt if the facility’s structural integrity is compromised in the disaster.
Burns and severe physical trauma are some of the worst and, unfortunately, some of the most common injuries. The concussive force of an explosion can slam a worker and cause internal hemorrhaging, organ damage or traumatic brain injuries. Falling debris can crush a worker and result in heavy trauma. Conflagration can leave serious burns all over a worker’s body, debilitating them for life.
Burns and traumatic brain injuries are extremely difficult to recover from, and most victims of these injuries never completely recover. Burns can result in enduring and disabling pain and loss of mobility. Traumatic brain injuries can have a number of profound effects, like speech disorders, cognitive issues and emotional disturbance. In general, severe burns and brain injuries will make it nearly impossible for a worker to continue their job.
An attorney can help a victim get their say in court and reveal the negligence that runs rampant at these facilities. With a lawyer’s help, a victim will stand a strong chance of attaining compensation for their injuries.