Louisiana’s refineries see high number of accidents

Last month we discussed Louisiana’s impressive performance in the Occupational Health & Safety Administration’s annual Survey of Occupational Illnesses and Injuries. In 2011, Louisiana had the lowest rate private industry work-related injuries and illnesses in the country.

However, those findings don’t tell the whole story. Louisiana is a home to many industries that remain dangerous for workers and the surrounding communities. One such danger has been highlighted in a recent report documenting accident at the state’s oil refineries.

The report was released by United Steelworkers to explore issues of refinery safety and gain ground in their efforts to make refineries safer for workers. According to the report, 2011 saw 301 accidents at the state’s 17 refineries.

“No one wants these refineries to shut down, but refiners can do more to ensure the safety and health of their workers and the community,” said the union’s vice president.

In addition, the report showed an increase in total pollution from refineries over the previous year. Based on the estimates provided in the report, an estimated 1 million pounds of pollutants were released into the air by the state’s refineries in 2011. 1.3 million gallons of toxicants were released into water and soil.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a workplace accident or from resulting contamination, consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney who practices in similar matters. They can help you pursue any appropriate claims and possibly seek compensation for your injuries.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “High Accident Rate for Louisiana’s Refineries Reported,” Dec. 10, 2012

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