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Fatal refinery accident involves a falling pipe

Texans are, unfortunately, not strangers to oil field related accident reports. When you hear about a fatal accident at a rig or refinery site, you might immediately picture explosions or fire. Though fire is certainly a risk for workers dealing with volatile substances, other types of accidents can and do injure or kill oil field workers.

On May 11, a worker on site at a Texas ExxonMobil refinery was killed after being involved in an accident that involved a falling pipe. According to reports, the worker was not a direct employee of ExxonMobil. Instead, he worked for AltairStrickland, which is a company that provides industrial engineering services. Specifically, the company specializes in services associated with plant turnarounds.

It was during a plant turnaround that the worker was reporting injured. Reports say the man was working on or near a heat exchanger when the incident occurred. A pipe fell from above and hit the man in the neck and head. The 37-year-old died at approximately 1 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered.

Media reports indicate this was not the first fatality at this plant that was associated with turnaround times. Maintenance accidents have taken the lives of three workers since 2013, say authorities.

While all employers must work to provide working environments that are as safe as possible, some environments are naturally riskier than others. Oil refineries are riskier workplaces than a general office, for example, though accidents can and do happen in all types of environments. If you are injured in an accident while on the job, then you might have a claim for workers' compensation. If you lose a loved one in such an accident, then you might have a claim for wrongful death.

Source: Beaumont Enterprise, "Worker killed in ExxonMobil refinery accident," Eric Besson, May 16, 2016

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