Worker killed at ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas
6 December 2017
On December 1, a 31-year-old female contract worker, Yesenia Espinoza, was killed while working on a construction project at an ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas.
Espinoza worked for Echo Maintenance LLC, a contracting company that does work for refineries and chemical plants. She was working on a project to construct a SCANfining unit, designed to remove sulfur from gasoline, when she was stuck by a falling 24-inch pipe.
Espinoza’s death leaves her two young children without a mother. A GoFundMe page was launched to pay for funeral expenses and help support her children.
In May 2016, a contract worker at the same refinery was killed after being struck in the head by a pipe. ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, is expanding the Beaumont facility, which is located 84 miles northeast of Houston.
Houston attorney Mynor Rodriguez filed a lawsuit over the weekend, arguing that ExxonMobil, Bechtel, and Echo Maintenance were negligent and responsible for Espinoza’s wrongful death.
In the lawsuit, Rodriguez states that the three companies were fully aware of the hazardous conditions within the refinery that led to Espinoza’s untimely death. Bechtel and ExxonMobil are accused, among a long list of other violations, of improperly rigging and handling the pipe that caused Espinoza’s death, requiring its workers to work in unsafe conditions, and failure to observe job safety.
Echo is accused of failing to provide adequate tools and equipment for safety purposes, instructing workers to work in an area known to be unsafe, and failing to prevent its employees from performing activities known to be unsafe.