The Importance of Properly Maintaining Refinery Equipment

Oil refineries are critical to the production of petroleum products, such as gasoline and heating oil.

These facilities contain miles of pipes and machinery, and this equipment must be properly inspected and maintained on a routine basis in order to prevent accidents caused by wear and tear.

From complex machinery to simple hoses and connections, refineries depend upon the functionality of the equipment they use.

Taking equipment out of service can disrupt a refinery’s production schedule, so management might be tempted to ignore the machinery’s recommended maintenance and calibration schedule. Companies also sometimes attempt to save money by making equipment last well beyond its serviceable lifespan.

To meet the incredible demand for gasoline and other refined petroleum products, companies sometimes prioritize the bottom line above the safety of their employees. When refinery equipment isn’t properly maintained, serious accidents occur.

Refinery Equipment Malfunction Injuries

Refinery equipment can only operate efficiently when it’s routinely recalibrated and kept as clean as possible. Pipes and holding tanks are frequently exposed to bad weather and salty air, weakening and corroding any metal surfaces that aren’t maintained properly.

When oil refinery equipment malfunctions, serious injuries may result, including:

  • Electrocution. When a refinery’s electrical equipment isn’t properly maintained, workers may be at risk of electrocution injuries such as cardiac arrest; muscle, tissue, or nerve damage; and thermal burns.
  • Burns. Malfunctioning equipment can cause crude oil to overheat, resulting in severe burns when the oil comes into contact with workers.
  • Crush injuries. Equipment malfunctions frequently lead to head injuries, spinal cord damage, and amputation when workers are struck by or caught between the machinery.

Oil Refinery Responsibilities

Refineries are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. If you suffered a workplace injury at a refinery, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.

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