The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recently warned industrial workers to not clear natural gas lines indoors. CSB investigators believe the Slim Jim Explosion occurred while contractors installing a water heater vented natural gas inside the building, leading to the explosion which killed three and injured dozens more at the ConAgra Foods plant just south of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Current codes and guidelines and published by the National Fire Protection Association state that gas purges “shall not be discharged into confined spaces or areas where there are sources of ignition unless precautions are taken.” It is this “unless precautions are taken” language which employers, like ConAgra Foods, will use as a loophole when allowing natural gas purges to occur indoors. Such purges should never occur, as they violate basic workplace safety practice and common sense.
Jonah Flynn is a burn injury and refinery explosion lawyer serving clients across the county. He is currently representing clients injured in a wide variety of work place accidents, such as boiler explosions, refinery explosions, and overhead power line accidents in a host of different states.