REMARKS BY SECRETARY HILDA L. SOLIS
TELEPHONE CONFERENCE CALL
BP SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012
Thank you all for being on the call today.
And thank you Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Jordan Barab for joining me today.
As many of you know, in 2009, OSHA conducted a follow-up inspection of BP's Texas City refinery to determine if the company had complied with the settlement reached after the tragic explosion in 2005 that killed 15 workers.
The inspection identified 270 violations of OSHA's Process Safety Management standard—otherwise known as P-S-M – from the original 2005 settlement that BP had failed to abate.
A settlement of those violations was reached in 2010 for more than $50 million.
The 2009 inspection also resulted in an additional 439 new citations for process safety violations.
Today, we are announcing a settlement between the Labor Department and BP to resolve nearly all of these additional PSM violations.
In total, 409 citations issued have been resolved through this settlement agreement.
Let me be clear about what this means.
It means that hundreds of serious hazards at Texas City have been abated, and more will be addressed by the end of this year.
Our primary focus in these negotiations was simple: We wanted all of the cited hazards corrected.
We want the men and women who work at Texas City to go home at the end of each day, safe and healthy.
We believe that the terms in this settlement will help ensure that workers don't have to sacrifice their lives for their livelihood.
In addition to the abatement of hazards, BP will pay more than $13 million in penalties.
That's in addition to over $50 million the company has paid as a result of the previous 2010 settlement.
Now, these penalties are large—among the largest that OSHA has ever issued as a matter of fact
But while it's easy to get caught up in the numbers, I want to emphasize what's really critical here—this agreement will save lives.
And as the Secretary of Labor, I take that very seriously.
So I promise you that we will make sure BP lives up to their end of this deal—both to their legal and their moral responsibility to protect the lives of workers who make their company what it is.
And we will continue to send that same message to other refineries across the country.
Thank you again for dialing in today. I'd like now to turn it over to Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab