Safety at gas-fired plants questioned

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is trying to improve workplace standards in gas-fired plants after the investigations of two terrible explosions caused during the cleaning of natural gas pipes.  The most recent accident occurred in February at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown, Connecticut killing six and injuring at least fifty workers.  Investigators saw extreme similarities in the Kleen Energy explosion and the explosion at the ConAgra Foods Slim Jim plant in Garner, North Carolina last June 2009.  In the explosion at ConAgra four workers were killed and sixty-seven were injured.

Both of the accidents occurred during the cleaning of gas-piping through either flushing pipes or venting gas.

Members of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board voted 4-1 in Middletown on Monday for a list of 18 urgent recommendations to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Fire Protection Association, and other organizations.

Board member John Bresland stated, “CBS investigators have determined that no specific federal workplace safety standards prohibit intentional, planned releases of natural gas into workplaces…We also determined that there are safe, feasible, economical alternatives to the unsafe gas-handling practices that caused this accident”.

If your or someone you love has been injured in the workplace, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 to learn more about your rights.