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Inadequate safety standards can lead to life-altering explosions

In April 2015, a Louisiana company experienced deja vu when a truck driver was injured in a manner "exactly" like an accident that occurred in 1999. At that time, the company was urged to improve its safety standards in order to prevent the same type of accident. Both explosions caused injuries to third-party truck drivers, but the most recent incident has altered the trucker's life forever.

The incident occurred during the unloading of a truck filled with asphalt that was over 400 degrees Fahrenheit. As the truck was being unloaded, it exploded. The victim suffered burns to approximately 90 to 95 percent of his body.

The Texas man recently filed a lawsuit in connection with the accident against Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. He alleges that the truck was overloaded and the hose being used to drain the asphalt was not properly cleaned. He claims that these two factors led to the explosion. Furthermore, he should not have even been required to help with the unloading process.

OSHA has cited Calumet on several occasions for inadequate safety policies and procedures over the last years. In reference to the 1999 incident, a plant manager acknowledged that truck drivers should not participate in off-loading the asphalt because it is dangerous. This raises the question of why the victim in the most recent explosion was involved in the process at all.

Explosions are a possibility in many industries, and when companies fail to take the necessary precautions and enforce safety policies and procedures, people can be severely injured or killed. In this case, the victim has amassed nearly $1 million in medical bills so far, and he will require assistance for the rest of his life. His family is currently unable to afford the treatment he needs. The lawsuit was filed against the Louisiana company because any other benefits available to him are not enough to cover his treatment, and he is exercising his right to file the claim.

Source: kxxv.com, "TX man injured in hot asphalt explosion at Shreveport Calumet plant files suit", July 14, 2016

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