Pasadena Plant Injuries Add to Numerous Recent Plant Accidents
It was a quiet, rainy afternoon when a tank exploded at a PeroxyChem plant in Pasadena. The vehicle was holding flammable, oil-based cleaning solution. It was the tenth incident near Houston since the DuPont explosion in 2015.
The accident took place around 12:45 p.m. on Bay Area Boulevard. A contractor was transferring chemicals when his equipment exploded. The force of the blast killed him and broke another employee’s arm. Two additional PeroxyChem employees were exposed to the chemicals. They were transferred to the hospital as a safety precaution. All three of the injured workers survived, but the damage had already been done.
Though there was no danger to the public, the Pasadena plant injuries present yet another example of life-threatening risks being taken at chemical plants. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the plant has a positive safety record. A manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide, it has seen few accidents in the past. Only a handful of employees were onsite at the time of the explosion.
And yet, these issues are ongoing in the United States. Regardless of a company’s good standing, accidents happen and employees are killed. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that these incidents, like the Pasadena plant explosion, are becoming too common to be ignored.
Railroad Accidents Reduced at Grade Crossings
As railroads have refined their safety campaigns, grade crossings have seen an update in infrastructure. It seems that some agencies are attempting to get familiar with new technology as quickly as possible, in order to create a safer environment for pedestrians, drivers, and passengers. The Indiana Rail Road Company, for example, renewed twenty of their crossings for $750,000 in 2015. Another thirty-five crossings will follow this year, at an additional cost of $1.5 million.
Buckingham Branch Railroad follow suit, installing signalization improvements, as well as new lights and gates. This year, they intend to install Siemens’ Safetran MS 4000, which will provide constant warning predictors at nearly fifteen crossings. Unlike other warning systems, the Safetran lowers crossing gates when it senses the wheels of an oncoming train, rather than resistance on the rail. This allows for extra precious seconds, in which pedestrians can be warned to stay away from the track.
In addition to this technology, some railroads are also taking advantage of Siemens’ RailFusion platform, which has the ability to monitor crossings in real time. Problems on the track can be immediately reported, and staff can be alerted if an incident occurs. Again, these extra moments can be the difference between life and death on a railroad track.
The Dangers of SUV Rollover Accidents
Did you know that a Ford Explorer is sixteen times more likely to kill its occupants in a serious crash than any other typical family car? Even though the Ford Explorer was one of the most popularly purchased vehicles in the early 2000s, the name is now synonymous with danger and unnecessary death. According to Frontline, SUV rollover accidents cause more fatalities than any other kind of motor vehicle accident. In 1999, sixty-three percent of all SUV-related deaths involved rollovers.
In 2000, SUVs had the highest rollover involvement rate of any vehicle in a fatal crash. In the ten-year period during the Ford-Firestone controversy – during which nearly three hundred people died in preventable accidents – forty times as many people died in SUV rollover accidents that were unrelated to tire failure as those who did.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also provided concerning SUV rollover stats about performance and production. Early in their creation stage, SUVs put their drivers at a distinct disadvantage during car accidents, with more than double the likelihood of rolling over. As design has improved, the ratio of SUV rollover accidents to other car accidents has decreased, but many drivers are still unaware of the precautions that they need to take before purchasing an SUV.