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Two Workers Burned at an Industrial Plant Explosion In Conroe Last Thursday

Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2019 at 11:03 am    

Chemical Plant Explosion

Two workers were severely burned in an electrical malfunction which caused a fire at Aegion Coating Services, an industrial plant in Conroe, TX on Thursday.

Emergency personnel from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue responded to the fire that started at an industrial plant in Conroe. Two workers that were performing repairs on an electrical panel suffered electrical burns when there was a flash explosion from inside the panel. The exact cause of the explosion and fire is yet to be determined, but it did originate from the related work that was being done on the panel.

According to the Fire Marshal from Montgomery County, interviews will need to be conducted to find out the exact source of the blaze and determine what actions were the root cause. The panel contained high-voltage circuits and supplies current to several large manufacturing machines. A flash fire erupted and burned the personnel in mere seconds. First responders mentioned that the current was typically about 400 volts passing through that panel. Both of the workers were reported to be in stable condition at the Texas Medical Center hospital later in the day.

Industrial Plants Are Major Sources Of Accidents and Injuries

The workplace, and particularly industrial workplaces, can be dangerous. Owners and managers need to pay special attention to incidents that could result in accidents and injuries to their employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is tasked with investigating and preventing workplace accidents in the US., but in no way can they, or do they, prevent tragic workplace accidents.

Several common injuries are simpler to prevent, such as lifting objects that are too heavy or in an improper manner and straining the back or damaging spinal discs that can permanently  disable a worker. In these types of injuries, it’s long-term training of supervisors and employees that help curtail injuries. It’s always better to take a little more time and get the right tools and help when lifting heavy objects.

Fatigue is another problem in the workplace. Breaks are mandatory, whether the employee thinks so or not. It’s important for management to realize that employees that are fatigued are at higher risk and are involved in more accidents.

In an industrial plant such as Aegion Coating Services, there are also plenty of possible toxic gases if any of their flammable coatings catch fire. They specialize in anti-corrosion coatings for pipelines that are sold throughout the world anywhere that oil and gas products are produced or refined.

Preventing fires from spreading in an industrial plant requires a focus on safety. Keeping sources of fires, such as electrical panels, located farther away from flammable liquids and fumes helps keep fires contained to their original sources.

OSHA makes regular visits to all manufacturing facilities and makes sure that exhaust fans, dust collectors, and other safety measures are working, well maintained and inspected.

Welding, Electrical, and Flame Sources Limited

Many fires are caused not by the usual activities of the industrial plant but instead by service workers. These workers are usually third-party contractors that are unaware of flammables and use tools that create what is called “hot work” in prohibited areas. Sometimes the repair work is unavoidable but safety can be increased by limiting exposure to flammable gasses, liquids, and combustible dusts.

The Oil And Gas Industry Experiences and Accidents

While the oil and gas industry has had a steady decline in the number of accidents per year, they are still struggling to become safer for their employees.  Surprisingly, one of the most dangerous parts of the entire industry is driving motor vehicles on the road. Yearly nearly 18% of all deaths in the industry are attributed to motor vehicle accidents on roadways.

And sadly, not wearing seat belts, an easily preventable mistake, is a major reason for deaths on the road. Fatigue while driving is the second most preventable cause of those accidents and could be prevented with more breaks, less time pressure, and other fatigue countermeasures that are being studied.

Other accidents that happen on oil rigs, both onshore and offshore, have been reduced in recent years due to heavy use of machines that do much of the heavy lifting, plus more safety requirements to reduce exposure to hazardous conditions. As the industry gets more automated, with fewer workers and more machines, there should be a continued decline in accidents and injuries.

Hurt in an Industrial-Related Accident? We Can Help

The lawyers at Williams Hart have been handling explosion accident injuries in Houston, Texas and nationwide for years. We also handle cases such as car/truck accidents, wrongful death, and work injuries. Visit our office today or call (713) 230-2200 for a free consultation.

Grand Parkway Safety Barrier Under Investigation After Fatal Crash

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 9:29 am    

Houston State Highway 99 Grand Parkway

Photo credits to TxDOT

The median fence designed to prevent collisions was proven to be ineffective in preventing an accident on December 12 that killed two people on Grand Parkway in Northwest Harris County.

A report from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shows that at least two highway safety features were unable to keep the truck from entering on the other lanes.

The Texas Peace Officer’s Uniform Crash report stated, “Unit 1 then veered south across the westbound lanes where it entered the grassy median and struck three barricades before entering the eastbound lanes of SH-99.”

The truck in question lurched off a concrete wall and the cable fencing that was supposed to prevent traffic from veering on opposite lanes wasn’t able to contain the vehicle.

Head-On Collisions

After the Ford F-15 crossed the median, it hit a guardrail lining on the opposite side of the lanes that broke apart upon impact and this served as a launch pad for the 4,500-pound truck.

“As Unit 1 struck the metal guard rail on the north side of the eastbound lanes, Unit 1 climbed the guardrail, and struck Unit 3 on the top,” according to the accident report.

The Unit 3 vehicle was a Lexus SUV driven by 66-year-old Linda Fuggiti who was killed in the accident. The Unit 2 driver was the sole survivor of the crash.

Another victim has been identified as 78-year-old Michael Brown who was also killed where he was struck by the truck and another vehicle.

The section of the Grand Parkway where the accident happened is managed by TxDOT. The safety features and lanes are newly constructed and not retrofitted parts of 99 such as certain areas of the Fort Bend County toll road.

TxDOT spokesperson Danny Perez said that a review of every fatal accident on any road managed by the state agency is dictated by standard operating procedures. Perez and the agency also want to see if there are other crashes in that area and if there’s anything they can do to improve the region’s safety.

Since January 1, 2016, TxDOT records indicate 24 deaths on Grand Parkway main lanes and frontage roads. Their reports also reveal a total of 16 fatal accidents since 2010.

head-on collisions Highway Accidents - williamskherkher

Median Barriers for Highway Safety

Median barriers are designed to separate traffic and prevent vehicles from going into opposite lanes of the highway. Typically constructed in urban multi-roads, they can also be utilized to prevent pedestrians in crossing the road at unsafe places.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the type of median barrier:

  • Traffic speed and volume
  • Width
  • Vehicle mix
  • Road alignment
  • Crash history
  • Number of lanes
  • Maintenance costs
  • Installation


  • Can help prevent dangerous overtaking maneuvers
  • Minimize head-on collisions
  • Can shift turning movements to safer areas


  • Can restrict the flow of traffic if a vehicle breaks down
  • Emergency vehicles won’t be able to access roads when there are median barriers
  • Median barriers can be safety hazards if they’re not well-designed
  • Some regions have materials used for medians that are at risk of being stolen

What Victims of Highway Accidents Can Do

If you have a loved one involved in a highway accident due to negligent of the other party, the lawyers at Williams Hart are here to help. Get the justice for your loved one through our experienced attorneys and extensive resources. We handle personal injury cases such as truck accidents, aviation accidents, and carbon monoxide poisoning, and we’re ready to help your family recover through litigation on your behalf. Get in touch with us now to get started.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident?

Contact us today at (888) 220-0640 to get a free, confidential case evaluation.