February 28, 2020
- Workplace Injury
- By Cesar Ornelas
Is It Dangerous to Work on Oil Refineries?
Did you know that the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics only began track contractors’ deaths at oil refineries for the first time in 2011?
Due to the poor long-standing Federal record-keeping practices that were in place, it’s tricky to identify how many people died at oil refineries every year.
There are many unique safety challenges that refinery plant workers have to face while performing their job duties. While oil continues to remain a staple in the United States economy, thousands of oil refinery workers placed our lives on the line every day to go to work.
So, are oil refinery plants dangerous? We’re going to take a closer look at that question today. Keep reading to learn more!
The Most Common Oil Refinery Plant Dangers
The process of oil refining takes crude oil and breaks it down into oil-based products, gasoline, and petroleum through a highly dangerous purification process. While many positions require human interaction for work, the unique dangers that present themselves working at an oil refinery should never be forgotten.
Some of the most common oil refinery dangers that employees are at risk of are:
For oil-based products to be made from the base of crude oil, hydrogen molecules have to be extracted from the base. During the extraction of the hydrogen molecules, is an increased risk at explosions. This is because even a small spark can cause the extracted hydrogen molecules to catch fire and combust.
Exposure to Gas
As the crude oil base is broken down, some gases are being released from the base. The gases that are being released from the base include oxygen, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen.
If workers that are passing by the base aren’t wearing the proper personal protective equipment, they may inhale these dangerous gases. As a result, this can cause oil refinery workers to suffer from respiratory ailments.
Exposure to Chemicals
For crude oil to be broken down, many dangerous chemicals are involved in the refining process. Long-term exposure or exposure when not wearing the proper personal protective equipment can cause damage to the lungs, skin, or can increase the chances of developing cancer.
For the molecule to be separated from the oil base to produce products, oil refinery plants rely on units of Coke to heat the crude oil up. For the crude oil-based to hit a point of decomposition, it has to be heated up to 900 Degrees.
This extreme level of heat can cause people that are working nearby the heated crude oil base can increase the chances of disfiguring or deadly burns. Some of the reasons that an oil refinery worker can be burned are by being splashed with oil, getting touched by the Coker unit, or being nearby if oil happens to catch fire.
Understanding the Dangers of a Refinery Plant
By having an understanding of the dangers at a refinery plant represents, you can better equip yourself with legal help if you have been injured as a result of your job duties.
Are you looking for legal help that’ll fight for your rights after you’ve been injured in the oil field? Click here to schedule a free consultation!
Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.
- 6 years of experience
- Personal Injury, DUI & DWI
- Serving Across Texas