Last updated on: October 28, 2022

Working in a refinery can be extremely dangerous, as there are often risks of explosion. Many of these risks may be prevented by properly following all safety measures, however, such as following safe practices for handling and storing chemicals. Unfortunately, employers may attempt to disregard these safe practices, putting the employees at risk.     

If you have been injured in a refinery or plant explosion, Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863 5312 for your 100% free consultation. You will not pay us anything unless we are successful in winning your case.


There are a variety of causes and consequences of plant explosions. Although some of the causes may be prevented with additional safety measures, such as properly training employees and providing safe equipment, some may not be, such as lightning strikes.

What causes plant explosions?

As mentioned, there are many different situations that may lead to a plant explosion. Some of these causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Natural disasters
  • Improper machine maintenance  
  • Corrosion
  • Improper use of chemicals
  • Failure to properly train employees
  • Failure to comply with federal safety regulations.

Explosions, injuries, and property damage

There are many different types of injuries that may occur due to a plant or refinery explosion. These injuries may include, but are not limited to:

  • Chemical burns
  • Electrical burns
  • Heat-related burns
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and strains
  • Hearing loss
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Lung injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Wrongful death.

Depending on the severity of the incident, plant explosions may also cause significant property damage, not only to the plant itself, but also to surrounding neighborhoods.

Poor facility maintenance

Poorly maintained facilities may also cause plant explosions. For instance, the risk of a disaster occurring on a plant is higher if the plant operators fail to comply with federal maintenance and safety regulations concerning equipment or chemicals. 

Equipment, especially potentially dangerous equipment, should be consistently inspected, with worn or outdated equipment being replaced.

Common compounds in industrial chemical plants

There are a countless number of industrial chemicals used in plants. These chemicals are used to make consumer goods, to create energy, or even to produce other industrial chemicals. Common chemicals in plants include:

  • Sulfuric Acid – This chemical is the most commonly-produced chemical in the world and is crucial for chemical fertilizers and metal manufacturing
  • Ethylene – This chemical is used to make other chemicals, such as ethanol
  • Sodium Hydroxide – This inorganic compound is used in a variety of industries, including in paper production and cleaning agent manufacturing
  • Propylene – This chemical is often used for fuel and rubber production
  • Nitrogen – This chemical is used for fertilizers, fabrics, dyes, and explosives.

The threat of plant corrosion

Corrosion occurs when machinery is exposed to oxygen. This process is also expedited by the plant’s use of extreme heat for refining crude oil, for example. 

Corrosion typically can not be seen by the common eye and may even be missed when machines are thoroughly inspected. As the machinery becomes worn, it becomes more and more dangerous to use, and may even cause death to the operator.

Combustible dust explosions

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), if dust is suspended in air at the right concentration, and under the right circumstances, it can become explosive. This is true for materials that do not typically burn in larger pieces, such as aluminum or iron. The force of dust explosions can cause entire buildings to be destroyed, as well as employee death or injury.

Using natural gas to clear the pipes

The process of using natural gas blows to clean piping systems in plants or refineries is inherently dangerous. This process includes using extreme pressure to push natural gas through the pipes. Unfortunately, this process has led to the deaths of many industry workers.

If you have any other questions regarding the causes and consequences of a plant explosion, contact Zinda Law Group today.


Refinery or plant explosions can cause devastating physical and emotional injuries, or even death, to those working in or surrounding the area. More information regarding refinery/plant explosions and personal injury include:

Employer responsibility

If companies or employers deprive employees of a safe working environment, they may be held liable for their negligence. Under OSHA law, employers have a variety of responsibilities for providing a safe workplace. Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Examine workplace conditions to ensure they conform to OSHA standards
  • Within 8 hours, work-related fatalities must be reported to the nearest OSHA office
  • Records must be kept of all work-related injuries and illnesses.

Failing to provide safety equipment

OSHA law also dictates that employers must provide their employees with safe tools and equipment, which may include protective eyewear and gas detectors. Employers are also responsible for properly maintaining this equipment.

Failing to perform routine maintenance and inspections

Proper facility maintenance includes performing routine inspections of machinery, equipment, and tools. Plants and refineries constantly produce potentially deadly chemicals using a wide range of equipment and tools. If employers fail to comply with certain maintenance and safety regulations, the risk of an explosion is significantly heightened.  

Inadequate safety training

It is crucial to provide adequate safety training for all employees. This means that employees should understand the machines they work with, how to handle chemicals, and all dangers associated with certain actions. If a company or employer fails to provide adequate safety training for employees, it may result in devastating accidents, such as refinery or plant explosions.

Misuse of Chemicals

The misuse of chemicals, such as the use of impure chemicals or improper chemical storage, may also cause catastrophic explosions, as many chemicals used in plants or refineries may explode when combined with a build up of heat.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a refinery or plant explosion, contact Zinda Law Group today. We can help investigate your case and determine whether your employer was at fault for the accident.


On March 23, 2005, an oil refinery explosion occurred at the Texas City Refinery owned by oil and gas giant, BP. In this explosion, 15 workers were killed, and 170 others were wounded. It was one of the worst refinery explosions in history. BP was found to be in violation of hundreds of safety violations for which they were heavily fined. Even after the families of the killed and wounded filed wrongful death lawsuits, BP continued to run their oil and gas refinery without all the proper safety protocols in place.  

Each day, many workers find themselves in a situation of having to either quit their jobs because of the safety hazards or continue working and just take a chance. Refinery workers shouldn’t be put in that predicament. They have a right to a safe work environment. If you or someone you know has been injured in a refinery explosion, then you need the best legal representation possible. That’s because these huge oil and gas companies are wealthy. They can afford the best attorneys and their lawyers know how to keep from paying you the settlement you deserve.  

Zinda Law Group PLLC has been helping the residents of Texas for many years to recover the money they need to pay off mounting medical bills. We know the law and we will fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries, pain & suffering, and lost wages.  

Victims of refinery explosions often receive very severe injuries. These are the kinds of injuries that may take years of expensive treatments. The law firm of Zinda Law Group will go to work right away examining reports from the accident. Our expert personal injury attorneys sift through every detail of the accident so that we’re fully prepared should your case go to trial.  

Zinda Law Group PLLC will work hard on your behalf to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Why not call or email us today? It’s fast and easy to get more information and we will evaluate your case FREE of charge. The best way to get mammoth oil and gas companies to enforce stricter safety regulations is to make them pay when there is an accident at one of their plants. Zinda Law Group gives you aggressive legal representation that you can rely on. Call or email today for more information.


At Zinda Law Group, we understand that you may have additional questions regarding the dangers of oil refineries. For this reason, we have provided a list of frequently asked questions:

What are the risks of living near an oil refinery?

Although you may understand that oil refineries can be dangerous to work in, you may also be asking what the risks are, if any, of living near one. Living near a refinery does, in fact, contain certain risks. 

For instance, studies show that proximity to an oil refinery substantially increases the risk of incidental cancer. Living close to an oil refinery also increases your risk of explosion accidents and oil spills.

Is it safe to work in a refinery?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are 130 total number of operable refineries in the United States. Unfortunately, these oil refineries are prone to chemical and toxic gas exposure and fires, which can be extremely dangerous, or even deadly. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the number of fatalities per 100 full-time workers in oil and gas extraction will be 7 in the year 2020.  

What happens if a refinery blows up?

The potential causes for an oil refinery blow up are vast and may include improperly stored chemicals, unsafe procedures, and electrical hazards. Following a blow up, it is important to seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor, as some may be exacerbated with lack of care. You should also maintain a record of everything you can remember about the explosion and preserve any physical evidence you have that may be related to the accident.


As can be seen, working in, or living close to a refinery can be dangerous. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an oil refinery, contact Zinda Law Group today. Our team can help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation available in your case.

If you have been injured in, or near, an oil refinery, call a Zinda Law Group personal injury attorney today at (800) 863 5312 to set up your free initial consultation. You do not have to worry about paying us anything unless we are able to win you compensation in your case. That is our “No Win, No Fee Guarantee.”