Explosion at Propane Plant in Florida Injures Workers

At the height of the summer cookout season, a tragedy unfolded this week in central Florida, where propane tank cylinders exploded at a Blue Rhino refilling plant.

According to an article on CNN.com, eight plant workers were injured in the blasts that took place Monday night. An evacuation order for homes within a half-mile of the facility had been issued by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The fire was put out three hours after the explosions began. The evacuation has since been lifted.

First reports said there were 15 workers missing, but later all workers were found safe. No residents were hurt.

Employees at the plant refurbish propane cylinders and load them on palates and vehicles. They refill propane tanks that are used in gas grills. The company has a tank exchange service that lets customers trade an empty propane tank for a full one at retail locations.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosions. But the article reported that a fire official said equipment failure and human error are likely to blame.

In 2011, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Blue Rhine for a “serious” safety violation involving tools and equipment.

For a work accident this severe, its a miracle that no one was killed. We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured workers. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the investigation, in light of the OSHA violations that this company was fined for in previous years. Remember that if you are injured on the job due to the negligence of your employer, you may be eligible for compensation. If your employer works around safety rules and regulations, the company is putting your health and safety at risk. If you have any questions, contact the Workers’ Comp attorney at O’Connor Law for a free review of your case.

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