The world has been hit with many an industrial disaster. And most of them could have been prevented if health and safety was followed properly. Employees have rights when at work. They have the right to be safe at all times and to have their health taken into consideration. Nobody should be forced to do something that can put their safety at risk. Here is a list of the 3 biggest disasters in health and safety history.



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It was 26th April 1986 when the worst nuclear power plant disaster in recent history occurred. Reactor 4 of Ukraine’s Chornobyl power plant exploded and spewed out a cloud of radioactivity across Europe and the then Soviet Union. The explosion took 31 lives, and the long term effects of the explosion are still very much unknown. As a result of the incident, around 4,000 people. Most of whom were children. Developed thyroid cancer.




It was early on the 3rd December 1984 when a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, spewed out about 36 tonnes of deadly gas into the cities air. The gas quickly killed around 4,000 according to local government estimates. However, campaigners claim the death toll was double that. The plant closed after the incident. This could have been avoided had the company paid more attention to health and safety advice. And had their been more health and safety regulations in place.



Sourced from Google Images


Phillips disaster:


This explosion was blamed on inadequate safety procedures by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Yet another incident that could have easily been avoided had proper safety guidelines been met. It happened on the 23rd October 1989 in Pasadena, Texas. An ethylene leak sparked the explosions at a petroleum plant. The explosions took 23 lives and injured 314.




On 6th July 2013, a train carrying 72 tankers of oil derailed and exploded in the town of Lac-Mégantic. The explosion killed 47 people and destroyed the town’s downtown core. The victims had to be identified by DNA samples and dental records. 6 people employed by MM&A train company are being charged for failing to ensure the train was properly braked before leaving it for the night.


Rana Plaza collapse:


It was 24th April 2013 when more than 1,100 workers died and about 2,500 were injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Since the garment factory collapsed. High street stores have been criticised. Criticised for allowing poor working conditions in the factory that produced garments for them. The collapse sparked controversy, and led to better safety conditions and increases in wages. Many people boycotted big high street brands as a result of this incident.


These disasters all go to show that health and safety is always paramount. And rules and regulations to protect workers should never go ignored. Had proper health and safety procedures been in place during these incidents. Countless lives could have been easily saved and spared any serious injury. When reviewing your company’s health and safety guidelines, please keep these incidents in mind.


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