Causes Behind Exxon Explosions in Texas

Texas has a rich history of industrial operations, harboring major players in the oil and gas industry. This prominence brings with it inherent occupational hazards, including the risk of catastrophic explosions at facilities operated by global energy companies like ExxonMobil.

These unfortunate instances pose great risks not just to workers but can also have far-reaching consequences for surrounding communities through personal injuries and adverse environmental impacts.

The Texas explosion accident attorneys emphasize the importance of understanding the causes behind Exxon explosions, examining the factors that lead to such events, and knowing what to do if you find yourself injured as a result.

Texas Exxon Explosion in 2019

In 2019, there was an explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Texas. Investigators concluded that a buildup of popcorn polymer – an industrial byproduct – caused excessive pressure in a line, ultimately leading to its rupture and resulting in the explosion.

The attorney for the plaintiffs suing Exxon discovered a 1995 internal Exxon memo, which acknowledged the presence of popcorn polymer in the same tower that would later explode decades after, in which it was specifically stated that there would not be anything done to rectify the situation.

Other Common Causes of Industrial Explosions

Industrial explosions at Exxon facilities often have a complex array of causes, but some of the most common include the following:

Improper Maintenance: Improper maintenance is a leading cause of industrial accidents, including Exxon explosions. When machinery and equipment aren’t regularly inspected, serviced, or properly repaired, minor issues can escalate to major malfunctions increasing the risk for catastrophic failures – such as explosions with severe safety consequences for workers and surrounding communities.

Equipment Failure: The machinery used in industrial operations must be kept reliable. If there are breakdowns due to wear and tear, design flaws, or inadequate upkeep, malfunctions can arise that may result in dangerous explosions.

Human Error: Human error plays a significant role in industrial accidents, including Exxon explosions. Situations such as misreading gauges, equipment operation errors, or misunderstandings of standard operating procedures can lead to oversight and malfunctions, causing hazardous conditions leading to an explosion.

Violations of Safety Regulations: Failing to comply with established safety standards and practices designed specifically for handling hazardous materials and ensuring safe operations often contributes to such catastrophic events.

While the above factors are among the most common causes of industrial Exxon explosions, this list is not exhaustive, as other complex and compounding issues may also contribute to these events.

Legal Recourse if Injured in an Exxon Explosion in Texas

If you have sustained injuries due to an Exxon explosion – or any other type of explosion – in Texas, your legal recourse can differ based on the circumstances of the incident. The two primary options include:

Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ Compensation serves as an insurance program for employees who sustain injuries at work. In Texas, employers have the option but are generally not required by law to carry workers’ compensation coverage. If you’re an employee injured in a workplace-related explosion and your employer has this insurance, you can file a claim.

Workers’ comp benefits include partial wage replacement and coverage for medical expenses related to the injury. This system is designed to provide quick financial assistance without needing to establish fault, aiming to help employees manage their injuries and rehabilitation costs more easily.

Personal Injury Claim: When workers’ comp doesn’t apply – either because an employer chooses not to carry it or if you were not injured in a work accident – you may file a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims aim to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions and recover a wide range of damages. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Navigating the steps following an injury from these kinds of industrial accidents requires careful legal analysis to ensure all compensation avenues are pursued. If you were involved in an Exxon explosion in Texas, reach out for help to make sure you receive all the benefits and compensation available. Contact our Baytown personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.