On November 15th, 2014, four employee were killed due to the leak of a toxic chemical at a DuPont manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas. Now, a year later, a series of safety guidelines have been approved by the US Chemical Safety Board in hopes that a similar incident never occurs again.
Investigators were able to determine exactly what went wrong, and the series of events makes it clear that there were multiple opportunities to prevent the terrible tragedy from occurring. The series of events included:
- The systems that manufactured a certain pesticide were shut down due to a problem
- These systems were restarted two days later, but a clog quickly forced a second shutdown
- During the rush to get manufacturing back online, dangerous chemicals leaked into a nearby water supply
- Management chose to attempt to clear the clog using extreme heat, which vaporized the chemicals and caused toxic exposure
The central reason so many things went wrong is there was no plan in place in case something like this happened. Yet clogged pipes are a foreseeable problem, and a safe and effective plan for clearing them should be in place.
Too many businesses neglect disaster planning, and it is usually the workers and the community who suffer most. Business owners and managers have a responsibility to their workers to have worst-case scenarios in place, and to offer training about what to do if those scenarios come true.
DuPont is far from the only company that is neglecting these best practices. Factories all over the country continue to put their workers at risk by not having the foresight to anticipate things that might go wrong. This type of negligence is completely unacceptable.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, there is a very real possibility that company negligence was at fault. Determining the exact series of events that led to your injury is of primary importance. An experienced attorney will know how to conduct a proper investigation, so please retain a qualified lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.