Propane Explosion: Surely an Avoidable Accident

In July of 2013 propane explosions shook a refilling plant in Tavares, Florida, injuring about eight plant workers and requiring at least a half-mile evacuation area. Propane explosions, which cause serious injuries and/or death in many homes and work places, have become more frequent in the US. Some of the reasons why propane explosions occur include improper maintenance of propane facilities, equipment failure, improper use of the propane, gas leaks and human error.

It only requires a small amount of propane for an explosion to occur. Thus, any hint or suspicion of propane leak, you should never switch on or use any device or appliance which causes a spark; and make sure that you entrust the repair of the leak only to a qualified individual.

Though a highly flammable gas and, therefore, dangerous, propane is, nonetheless, a very common fuel used in American homes. People use it to cook food, barbecue, heat their homes and fuel engines. To keep from the possible occurrence of a propane explosion, propane systems and propane-powered appliances should be checked by qualified service technicians regularly. Home residents should also refrain from using propane grills inside their home or in small and enclosed areas, as well as from using damaged propane cylinders or tanks.

If an exploding propane tank inside a residential unit is enough to tear down an apartment; imagine what a 10,000-gallon propane tank could do to a plant facility and the workers inside that plant. Explosion injuries are sometimes sustained by completely innocent parties in accidents that could have been avoided. For example, complying with the stipulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding proper handling, labeling and storage of propane and other hazardous elements can significantly reduce workplace injury.

The primary duty of ensuring safety in the workplace is placed on the shoulders of every employer, thus employers should include maintenance of safety a duty of everyone in the workplace. According to the website of a Fayetteville Workers Compensation Lawyer, failure to make the workplace a safe area for everyone is an act of negligence and a violation of OSHA safety standards – an act punishable under the law.