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Houston refinery called 'ticking time bomb' by 1 industry vet

There's an old saying that goes all politics are local. When it comes to the oil and gas industries in Texas, the same might apply. While the companies in the market fly flags from around the world, when it comes down to pulling the resources out of the ground the nitty-gritty work is done here -- quite often in our own back yards.

When accidents happen, leaving injured pipeline workers in their wakes, the ones who suffer are local residents and their families. Injuries suffered in the building and maintaining of pipelines often require longer recuperation and treatment than those suffered in other industrial accidents. And if the cause of the accident can be traced to negligence on the part of the company, legal action may be required to hold the firm accountable.

This may be something on the mind of one Houston-area worker. He's recovering now after suffering flash burns to one of his hands in a fire and explosion at a Petrobras refinery in Pasadena last weekend. Besides the one worker injury, officials say the smoky blaze prompted the closure of the Houston Ship Channel for a time.

Petrobras officials say the plant is in a "safe condition" now, but this is not the first time there have been problems there. The facility has a record of previous safety and pollution violations. Conditions are so bad that one industry veteran who works for another company in the area says, "Everybody knows that place is a ticking time bomb."

Perhaps regulators will take the action necessary to defuse what could be a potentially deadly bomb. Meanwhile, the injured worker faces his own sets of challenges.

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