4 Main Causes of Accidents That Occur in a Chemical Plant

4 Main Causes of Accidents That Occur in a Chemical Plant

Over the years, accidents in chemical plants have been reduced. However, accidents do happen from time to time.

  • In 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that industrial accidents were the cause of more than 1.2 million workers in the United States missing time from work due to injuries that were not fatal.
  • In 2009, Industrial accidents resulted in 4,340 deaths.

If we know why and how accidents like these happen, we could reduce the likelihood of them occurring.

The four main causes of accidents in a chemical plant are improper maintenance, human error, manufacturing defects, and improper training.

Improper Maintenance

A common reason accidents in chemical plants occur is from improper maintenance of equipment. A piece of equipment can ultimately fail and malfunction if it is not properly maintained. This can be very hazardous for the workers who are operating and working around the machine.

Regular maintenance at scheduled intervals and the manufacturer’s recommendations is important to ensure that the equipment runs smoothly and safely.

Human Error

A majority of accidents that occur in refineries are the result of human error. Often times a worker fails to follow the safety procedures that have been put into place by the company.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 74.8% of industrial injuries happened in the service related industry in 2009.

An accident can occur when a worker uses improper equipment. Furthermore, injuries occur when a worker uses improper tools to work on the equipment. This can damage the machines and create a safety hazard on the workers.

Manufacturing Defects

Oftentimes an accident occurs due to a manufacturing defect. These defects can sometimes be present in the materials used or in a piece of equipment.

Although companies employ quality control measures, some of these can fail. This happens because employees oftentimes handle these control measures. Moreover, accidents are bound to happen when a human is involved.

An inspector may miss a defect in the equipment during the manufacturing process. A problem like this is not recognized until a worker is injured by the defective equipment.

Improper Training

Whenever personnel is not adequately or properly trained, chemical plant and refinery accidents are more likely to occur.

Employees should be properly taught on how to operate the equipment in the way it was designed to be used. They should also learn to employ safety procedures when they are operating a piece of equipment. Also, employees should be well versed in what to do if something goes wrong so that they can fix it before it gets out of control.

  • In 2009, 4.3 out of every 100 workers were involved in industrial accidents.

A majority of these accidents occurred due to improper training of personnel.


Recognizing these four main causes of accidents in a chemical plant is vital for addressing the problem and reducing the occurrence of an accident in the future.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, do not hesitate to call us right away. Call us at (713) 999-8669 or schedule a free consultation.

Our lawyers are trained in these types of cases and can quickly find and assess your situation. We can help you determine the steps to legal action. We will help you understand your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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