It has been more than two months since the fatal explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company plant in West, Texas. It killed 15 people, injured 200 and reportedly caused $100 million in property damage, yet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has yet to act on the matter. Reportedly, investigations are ongoing but many officials -- from both OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency -- have refused to discuss the subject. Such behavior has brought employee rights into question in this matter and many are upset that little has been done about the catastrophe that occurred.
Imagine being a friend or loved one of one of the 15 people who died in the blast. Or put yourself in the shoes of one of the 200 individuals who were injured -- any of them could have suffered injuries that could cause complications for the rest of their lives. Without having a report on the matter from OSHA or any other regulatory agency, it would be tough to file a legal complaint against the company. But there is also the issue that the company is practically nonexistent now, with most of its facilities having been demolished in the explosion. This has put OSHA and the EPA in an interesting position, one that may dictate how future incidents that are similar to this are handled.
If either group was to cite the company, it may be seen as callous because the company -- as mentioned -- was nearly eradicated. But if the company is responsible for the blast, many employees will feel further wronged if it is not held liable. Many professionals in employment law likely want to see the rights of the employees upheld in this matter, especially if the company is responsible for improperly storing the fertilizer that reportedly caused the blast. If you have suffered an injury on the job, you should speak to one of these attorneys as soon as possible.
Source: Dallas News, "Federal regulators' response to West Fertilizer Co. blast still uncertain" Randy Lee Loftis, Jun. 22, 2013