For those that may wonder what the most dangerous job on the planet is, a recent study reported that oil refinery work takes first place.
Oil refineries are industrial plants where the unprocessed oil that comes out of the ground is refined into useable products, such as gasoline, heating oil, kerosene, and diesel.
There are around 140 oil refineries in the United States, with approximately 41,570 oil refinery workers in the nation. These workers face daily risks of serious workplace accidents, which can include asbestos exposure, fires, and explosions.
Asbestos exposure is linked to a particularity aggressive form of lung cancer called mesothelioma. Although oil refinery workers’ exposure to asbestos is usually the result of handling equipment, in the past, protective clothing also contained asbestos, which protected the worker from heat and fire.
The most common types of asbestos-coated clothing included:
- Shoe covers
Cancers and devastating respiratory issues linked to exposure to asbestos and other toxins in the workplace are considered occupational diseases, and are normally covered by New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
Explosions and Fires
Fires and explosions in the oil refinery industry can occur by the ignition of flammable materials, chemical corrosion, or electrical problems. Unfortunately, fires and explosions are not uncommon in this industry, and the injuries that result from these types of accidents can have long-term consequences.
Chemical spills and the force of an explosion, beyond burns and heat-related injuries, can cause falling debris and catapult workers into fixtures and stationary objects.
Below are some common serious injuries resulting from chemical spills and the force of an explosion:
- 3rd and 4th Degree Burns
- Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI)
- Spinal Cord injuries
Understanding the Risks
Both oil refinery employers and their employees understand the inherent risks associated with this industry. Although it may not be possible to completely avoid the risk of injuries that workers in the oil refinery industry face, employees can reduce their risk by wearing a hard hat and other personal protective equipment (PPE), following all company safety protocols, and notifying management immediately when something seems unsafe.
If negligence is discovered on the part of a third party, such as a machinery manufacturer, or another party, a lawsuit may be necessary. Lawsuits can provide additional compensation to supplement a Worker’s Compensation claim, or provide a family with the necessary means to move forward, should a life-long injury or wrongful death occur.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Advocate for Injured Employees in the Oil Refinery Industry
If you suffer devastating injuries while on the job in the oil refinery industry, or you have been injured in another workplace incident, contact the Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP. Our Cherry Hill work injury lawyers are experienced in all New Jersey employee laws designed to protect you and your family. We can help guide you through the complex New Jersey Workers’ Compensation claims process, investigate other avenues for compensation, and appeal denied claims. To learn more, call our legal team today at 856-761-3773 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our office is centrally located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the state.