Monday morning’s accident at Omega Protein in Moss Point has many Jackson County residents talking. The accident at Omega Protein has shocked many industrial workers employed at nearby facilities.
Raquel Lelder, a pipe fitter at Ingalls, says, “I hate to hear what happened today. I saw it on Facebook. Yeah, I hate that.” Many workers think the Omega Protein plant is unsafe and they point to a number of fatal accidents in recent years.
Monday’s explosion, involving a welder working on a storage tank, confirms for many that safety procedures are not being followed. Chris Terry, a ship fitter at Ingalls, says, “Of course there weren't safety precautions followed to make sure there wasn't something flammable inside the container.”
Others think Omega Protein isn't much different than any other heavy industry plant in Jackson County. Those people say accidents are just a risk industry workers take and besides, the pay is usually pretty good. Tyler Malone, a welder at VT Halter Marine, says, “Every place has its good days and its bad days. I've got a cousin that works there. He likes it. It’s good money.”
Lelder also says, “Any construction business is an unsafe environment. You just have to be safe personally.” Many of Jackson County's larger industries invest heavily in safety programs. Some even have daily safety briefings, but many workers stress that safety starts with the individual.
Lelder closes, “Assess your situations, look around you, make sure there aren’t any hazards.”