Flora Explosion Could have been Prevented According to OSHA
The U.S. Department of Labor reports the Flora explosion could have been prevented which cost the life of a 25-year-old welder. The explosion that occurred in July 2022 injured 6 and killed one of the employees of W.S. Red Hancock Inc. At the time of the explosion, they were replacing old metal tanks with fiberglass ones at a saltwater disposal site for oil and gas fields. Federal investigators say the explosion could have been prevented if they had followed federal workplace safety standards.
Courtney Bohannon, the OSHA Area Office Director in Jackson, Mississippi stated “The terrible loss of a young worker’s life is a reminder of how volatile and dangerous welding and cutting work can be,” “W.S. Red Hancock failed to follow established safety procedures, leaving a family, friends and co-workers to grieve a preventable loss of life and the other injured workers to deal with the aftermath.”
The Bentonia oilfield contractor, W.S. Red Hancock was cited by OSHA for not properly cleaning the metal tanks of any flammable material that might have remained. OSHA also cited the company with serious violations for the failing to:
- Instruct workers about unsafe conditions and regulations for working around equipment containing flammable substances.
- Make provisions for prompt medical attention for workers exposed to explosion hazards.
- Have valid certifications available that confirmed a person on site had first-aid training and that the closest infirmary or medical facility more than 10 minutes away.
- Remove or protect movable fire hazards near welding operations and flammable substances.
- Ensure employees working in a basket aerial lift used or utilized fall protection.
OSHA has also proposed $196,886 in penalties for their violations and has 15 days to respond.
Unfortunately, workplace incidents happen everyday throughout the U.S. Even when companies comply with all OSHA regulations injuries can still occur leaving the victims in both physical and financial pain. If you are injured on the job it’s important to report the injury to your supervisor immediately, take note of any witnesses and take pictures, seek medical attention ASAP no matter the severity of it, and contact an experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney.
At Chhabra & Gibbs P.A. we have the experience to handle all types of workplace injuries no matter the extent of injuries. Our dedicated team of lawyers and support staff are available 24/7 to help you and your family in your time of need. Contact us for a FREE consultation at 601-948-8005.