Worker Killed in Texas Oil and Gas Explosion
According to investigators with the Midland County Fire Marshal’s office, a worker with a water treatment company was killed in a fiery explosion Monday while he was mixing chemicals at an oil and gas services facility near Midland.
Currently, the exact cause of the explosion is under investigation, although investigators are examining whether a spark or a chemical reaction triggered the explosion. Soon after the explosion, first responders searched the burned-out structure at the site of Water Rescue Services and found the body of 23-year-old Midland resident Julian Gallardo. In addition, two recreational vehicles and three other vehicles were destroyed. Thankfully, while a few RVs parked nearby were evacuated, no one else t the site was hurt.
Water Rescue Services, which is based in Fort Worth, provides water treatment technology to the oil and gas industry. A thorough investigation will have to be performed in order to find out what cost this worker his life, so that his family can be fairly compensated and so that such an accident is less likely to happen again to another worker. Given that Texas is a major player in that industry, it is important that employers at all levels take workplace safety seriously.
Working in the oil and gas industry entails a number of inherent hazards, especially when you consider the types of chemicals and materials workers must deal with, but the hazards can be minimized by taking reasonable precautions. Yet, since the beginning of the latest boom, when oil and gas production skyrocketed, the number of workplace injuries and fatalities in that industry has increased significantly throughout Texas, with the state accounting for more than 40 percent of all oil and gas fatalities nationally between 2007 and 2012. In fact, in 2013 alone, of the 112 oil workers killed on the job nationally, 50 of them were in Texas when the accident happened.
Among the most common reasons for the frequency of oil and gas worker injuries and deaths is the failure of both federal and state agencies to put in place reasonable safety standards for the industry, as well as a shortage of inspectors capable of examining the working conditions for oil and gas workers. While a lot has been done to protect offshore oil and gas work, onshore drilling operations have taken a back seat. That, combined with employers who are always looking for a way to cut corners to make more profit, is a formula for disaster.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed at an oil and gas facility or at any workplace, getting the advice of an experienced Oil and Gas Accident Attorney is important. Contact the Hill Law Firm today, so that we can look over the facts of the case and advise you as to what to do next.