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Barge And Tanking Cleaning In Houston, TX Involve Significant Risks

Earlier this year, a tanker truck exploded at M-N-B Welding Services in Victoria, Texas. The explosion occurred while an employee had been working on a tanker truck inside the welding shop at the company. Fortunately, no one suffered any injuries and no residual fire was reported.

The tanker truck had been used to carry fracking water. Before the worker started cleaning the tanker truck, the water had been emptied and the tanker had been cleaned; however, it appears that the tank had not been cleaned thoroughly. The worker used a grinder on the truck, which created sparks. The sparks apparently ignited residual petroleum product in the tanker truck and caused an explosion.

The force of the explosion caused a shop door to be forced from its hinges. The explosion is being characterized as an accident and is under investigation.

Accidents in Barge and Tank Cleaning Industry

Tank and barge cleaning involves the process of removing residual cargo and cleaning the tanks in order to load a new or different cargo, inspect, or repair the equipment. Tank and barge cleaning pose many different hazards due to flammable materials and inhalation or skin contact from chemical exposures .An article last year in the Houston Chronicle delved into the dangers involved with tank and barge cleaning.

According to the newspaper, “government health and safety experts don’t know much about” the cleaners used to clean tanks and barges. In fact, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has trouble even locating tank cleaning establishments to investigate because there is no data tracking the number of companies that exist. Furthermore, OSHA cannot even track the number of fatalities in the industry or the number of workers who suffer from illnesses to exposure to harmful chemicals. The result is an industry that remains heavily unregulated with insufficient oversight from government and state officials.

Using trade publications, news reports, OSHA records and interviews, the Houston Chronicle was able to identify 373 tank and barge cleaning sites. The companies are located throughout the country, but most are situated in Texas and Louisiana with the largest number located in Harris County.

Of the 373, the newspaper found that OSHA had inspected only about a third of the sites over the past 10 years. On average, OSHA found nine dangerous conditions at the sites investigated and only a few sites had no violations. The violations most commonly found were permitting workers to clean without proper breathing protection or allowing workers to enter spaces that could be lethally oxygen-deficient.

Contact the Undefeated Houston Texas Plant and Refinery Lawyers from Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers for Help Today

If you have suffered an injury in a work-related accident at a plant or refinery, Zehl & Associates’ experienced Texas plant and refinery accident attorneys can help you recover damages.

Contact Zehl & Associates’ plant and refinery accident lawyers today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Call one of our lawyers at 1-888-603-3636.

We proudly serve Harris County, Midland County, and throughout the state of Texas:

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Houston
2700 Post Oak Blvd #1000, Houston, TX 77056
(888) 603-3636
Open 24 hours

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Midland
306 W Wall St Suite 701, Midland, TX 79701
(432) 220-0000
Open 24 hours