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Safety Violations and Pipeline Explosions, What This Means For Your Case

Posted on October 12, 2021 in

Oil workers in Texas and throughout the United States have incredibly dangerous jobs. Some would argue that these jobs are the most dangerous in the country. An unfortunate reality is that pipeline accidents do occur, and they often result in catastrophic injuries for workers and anyone else in the vicinity. Here, we want to discuss safety violations and how this can affect pipeline explosions and any injury cases that arise in the aftermath.

Who is in Charge of Safety for a Pipeline?

When it comes to oil pipeline safety in the United States, safety regulations come from the US Department of Transportation. In particular, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is “responsible for regulating and ensuring the safe and secure movement of hazardous materials to industry and consumers by all modes of transportation, including pipelines.”

In an effort to minimize threats to life, the environment, and property as a result of hazardous material incidents, the PHMSA develops regulations and standards for classifying and handling more than one million daily shipments of hazardous materials throughout the country. The Office of Pipeline Safety is responsible for ensuring the construction, design, maintenance, and operation of more than 2.6 million miles of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.

Ultimately, though, safety falls into the hands of pipeline operators. Despite all of the regulations put forth by the federal and state governments, there could be several points of failure along the way. In fact, something as simple as a person failing to conduct a regular inspection could be enough to set off a disaster.

What if a Safety Violation Leads to an Injury?

If a safety violation leads to a fire, explosion, or another type of incident that causes an injury, then an injury victim will likely be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, it will need to be determined which party was responsible for the safety violation.

If a person sustains an injury as a result of the careless or negligent actions of their employer or a coworker, they will likely only be able to recover payment for their losses through the workers’ compensation system in their respective state. However, if a safety violation issue occurs as a result of someone other than the employer, then the injury victim may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover additional types of compensation that are unavailable through the workers’ comp system.

Some of the most common safety violations that lead to a pipeline explosion include:

  • Human error
  • Careless hiring, training, or supervision of workers
  • Negligent maintenance on pipelines, including defective welds, negligently installed joints, valves, or service lines
  • Failing to follow appropriate safety regulations or codes
  • Pipeline breakdown, including mental fatigue, corrosion, or exposure to chemicals
  • Failing to replace or repair pipelines in a timely manner, particularly after reports of suspected leaks or other safety concerns

Reach out to a Skilled Pipeline Explosion Attorney Today

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a pipeline explosion and you suspect the incident was caused by a safety violation, you should speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A pipeline explosion lawyer in Houston will have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into the case in order to determine liability. They will help explore all avenues towards securing compensation on behalf of the injury victim. Contact The Doan Law Firm for your free consultation.