The Deer Park chemical facility that caught fire last week has a long history of state and federal environmental violations. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) has been fined for multiple infractions that could have been avoided. In 2008, ITC was fined when a relief valve failed causing 6,745 pounds of unauthorized butadiene to be released into the atmosphere due to the facility's failure to prevent an increase in pressure. The Commission said the event was "avoidable by better operational practices." Butadiene is a carcinogen to humans and is used to make plastics.
Just before 11 A.M. on March 17th, 2019 a chemical plant fire occurred at the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC, also known as "ITC", which is located near Highway 225 and Independence Parkway in Deer Park, Texas. The blaze continued to burn all day Sunday and has continued into Monday. Emergency crews have continuously worked around the clock to keep the fires contained. Unfortunately, additional tanks subsequently caught fire overnight. Nearby schools were closed for the day as a precaution.
Drilling for oil is an inherently dangerous job, with a fatality rate nearly five times that of all industries in the United States combined. As the oil and gas industry continues rising, the number of people employed increase-along with production pressures and the temptation to cut corners. In Texas, oil and gas firms employ over 2,400 more people than they did a year ago, putting more people in the path of explosive gases, dangerous machinery, and cancer-causing chemicals.
In August 2008, Lisa Spearman was an employee of Royal Caribbean International. She was a marketing and revenue manager on the cruise line's Voyager of the Seas.
On April 24, 2018 another Amtrak worker was struck and killed by a train in Bowie, Maryland. The victim was an Amtrak employee who was helping monitor safety during track work between Baltimore and Washington, when he was stuck by Train 86. The tragic news comes just five months after a similar instance occurred in which two track workers were killed. Following the first incident, the National Transportation Safety Board strongly recommended Amtrak reduce the speed its trains are travelling when passing work crew members.
The National Institutes of Health recently conducted a study entitled the Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study, in which it determined workers exposed to oil dispersants during the Deep Water Horizons cleanup are likely to experience respiratory issues and other health problems.
A recent explosion at a La Porte gas plant on Wednesday shook homes and caused concern as far away as Baytown and Sheldon. Some people were treated at the scene for ear pain and dizziness as a result of the explosion.
One of Americas Most Dangerous Jobs.
The year 2016 has been named the deadliest year in the U.S. for workers. It's been almost a decade since work related deaths have been this high.
The 2017 top violations remain largely unchanged from 2016, with fall protection General Requirements at the top of the lost. However, in 2017 "Fall Protection - Training Requirements", is now added to the top 10 list, at number nine.