Recent Explosions In Fertilizer Plants Highlight Need For Work Safety Regulations

Fourteen people were wiped off the face of the earth in a workplace accident in West, Texas. More than two hundred people were injured, some maimed for life. What is more, the livelihood of an entire town is gone. The compensation for damages that they rightfully deserve is going to be difficult to get, because the business is gone. The owner has no way to make money and no assets to sell. This is all without mentioning the damage to the environment and the local species of life near the plant.

It would have been far better for all concerned if this tragedy had never occurred. The only thing that we can take from it is a lesson to learn from it and try to prevent it from ever happening again.

Unfortunately, that lesson is not being learned quickly enough. A man was killed on the job in Louisiana in June, after a chemical plant exploded because of poor safety regulations, and another man died from his injuries. Another 80 people injured at work, another town laid to waste, and once again no way to pay it all back. Our already overburdened environment takes another needless hit.

Poor safety regulations are a disaster for everyone. They do not help the business owner, who keeps a little more money in the short run but loses everything in the end. They certainly do not help the workers, who are injured at work every day. When workplace safety suffers, productivity and profitability suffers. The consumer does not benefit from notably lower prices or better quality merchandise. In fact, they can count on the opposite. Unpleasant and dangerous workplaces do not bring out the best in the workers. The people in the surrounding town in no way profit from the sudden destruction of their infrastructure and economic support. We can all agree that West, Texas, would be an economically healthier city today if they had followed safety regulations. It's certain the people, buildings, plants, and animals would all agree that the owners of the West Fertilizer Company had a greater responsibility to oversee workplace safety and that OSHA should have been funded enough to do inspections and enforce their findings.

Sadly, this is not the case. There is only one OSHA inspector for every 59,000 American employees. It is simply impossible for them to keep up with the need, but it is essential for our American way of life that these critical businesses are regulated and kept safe. We must expand OSHA and similar programs, and we must fund them. We cannot afford to do otherwise.

The personal injury attorneys at Goldman Babboni & Walsh have represented injured accident victims across Florida including those who have been injure on the job. With offices located in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice and across Southwest Florida our law firm is ready to serve.


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