OSHA Launches Investigation Into Wednesday Tank Explosion
The Occupational Safety And Health Administration(OSHA) confirmed they have launched an investigation into what caused the Wednesday morning explosion at Westlake Chemical. For all intent and purposes, however, this is standard procedure. The purpose of OSHA is to ensure safe working conditions for workers and enforce safety standards by providing education, assistance, and training. Once they get to the root of why the explosion happened they can share their findings to prevent a similar incident from happening again. Any time industrial accidents occur such as the one at Westlake's south plant, various protocols must be enacted and are required by law.
LA State Police Sgt. James Anderson confirmed that to be the case, saying it appeared that plant officials checked- off all the boxes as far as notification requirements. So far Sgt. Anderson told KPLC News. “There will be an after-action report as well as an investigation conducted by our emergency services unit. Our initial indication is plant officials did everything they were asked to do.”
Greg Langley, with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality(DEQ), expressed the same sentiment as with Sgt. Anderson's. Langley added that when his agency arrived at Westlake Chemical the fire was extinguished, no exposed chemicals, and the tank was demolished. However, out of an abundance of precaution monitored the air quality of the area for several hours. Adding, “We got non detects for everything.”
As previously reported six plant workers received minor injuries at the time of the blast, but none were life-threatening or related to chemical exposure. or breathing problems. When an industrial accident like Wednesday morning’s explosion at Westlake Chemical’s south plant happens, actions are required by the plant as well as regulating agencies.