The United Steelworkers Union (USW) today chastised the oil industry for the series of fires and explosions that keep happening at refineries around the country, resulting in unnecessary injuries and deaths. One USW member was seriously burned in a fire that happened April 29 at the Valero refinery in Memphis.
According to the listing of refinery events on the Department of Energy’s website, there is a weekly fire at one of the nation’s refineries. In 2009 there were 46 fires and explosions. So far this year there have been 18 fires and explosions. Six of the fires and explosions this year at refineries have resulted in 10 injuries and nine deaths.
Most of the fires are due to process safety problems, such as malfunctioning equipment. These fires are a lagging indicator of safety, meaning they are an after-the-fact measure of safety performance. Click here to read more.