News Release USDL: 95-373
Wednesday, September 13, 1995
Contact: Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151
Clark Refining Agrees To Pay $1.2 Million In Fines Following OSHA
Investigation Of Fire And Explosion That Killed Two, Injured
Three Others At Blue Island, Ill., Refinery
Clark Refining and Marketing, Inc., has agreed to pay
$1,257,000 in penalties proposed by the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) and make significant safety
improvements at its Blue Island, Ill., refinery following an
investigation of a fire and explosion that killed two workers and
injured three others.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and
Health Joseph A. Dear said, "We are pleased that Clark has agreed
to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.
"The agreement avoids the cost and burden of possible
prolonged litigation and furthers the efforts of both Clark and
OSHA to assure a safe workplace at Blue Island."
"Tragedies such as this could be averted if employers
followed OSHA regulations designed to prevent deaths or injuries
on the job," Dear said.
Two maintenance workers were killed and three operators were
hospitalized with injuries in the fire and explosion March 13,
1995, at the Blue Island refinery.
The accident occurred during repair work on a valve for a
hydrocracking unit used in producing gasoline. Operators not
trained in maintenance procedures were performing the work and
did not properly lock out the equipment. Pressure in the line
blew off the valve bonnet, shooting flammable liquid and vapor 70
feet into a welding shop, where it exploded into a fire that
flashed back to the hydrocracking unit. The employees who were
killed had been eating lunch in the welding shop. The three
operators in the hydrocracking unit suffered severe burns.
OSHA is issuing the citations and penalties today. The company has agreed
not to contest the citations.
During its investigation, OSHA found numerous violations,
primarily of the process safety management of highly hazardous
chemicals (PSM) standard.
In addition to paying the proposed penalties and abating
hazards discovered in the investigation, Clark agreed to perform
a process safety management audit of the Blue Island refinery.
The audit will evaluate Clark's compliance with the
provisions of the PSM standard at Blue Island and verify that all
procedures and practices developed to ensure compliance are
understood by plant personnel and are being followed.
Clark will establish and implement a management structure to
address the findings of the audit team and the abatement
requirements of the citations; recommend corrective actions in an
action plan; and confirm and document completion or other
disposition of recommended corrective actions. The audit will
also address all elements of process safety management of highly
hazardous chemicals at Blue Island, with emphasis on issues
addressed in the OSHA citations including training in the
requirements of the lockout/tagout standard; facility siting;
mechanical integrity programs; relief and vent systems and
devices; written operating procedures and procedures for
lockout/tagout; and procedures for issuing, enforcing and
revoking work permits for contractors.
The action plan will include a mandatory timetable and
priority order for correction of any hazards, as well as
provisions for interim protection of workers until final
corrective action is accomplished.
An independent third party consultant (approved by OSHA),
with expertise in conducting process safety management audits in
refineries will be part of the audit team.
Clark has also agreed to establish a system of effective
consultations with employees concerning its compliance activities
under the PSM standard and the terms of the agreement.
The company will report to OSHA on steps taken to implement
the agreement, including the audit and action plan.
SUMMARY OF CITATIONS AND PENALTIES Clark Refining & Marketing, Inc.
Blue Island, Ill., Refinery
Violation of Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and
Health Act requiring employer to furnish employment free from
recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical
harm. Employees exposed to toxic gases and vapors while
performing work in control rooms.
Employees exposed to falling debris and flying objects
because control rooms were not capable of resisting an unconfined
vapor cloud explosion or were located within the critical radius
of the explosion.
Failure to include relief system design and design basis in
process safety information, as required by process safety
management standard (PSM).
Failure to meet schedule requirements for process hazard
analysis and failure to establish system to assure that process
hazard team's recommendations were completed, as required by PSM.
Failure to develop and implement written operating
procedures with clear instructions for activities in each covered
process, as required by PSM.
Written operating procedures failed to address PSM
requirements for operating limits.
Written operating procedures failed to meet PSM requirements
for health and safety considerations.
Failure to address requirements for safety systems and their
functions in written operating procedures, as required by PSM.
Failure to train employees involved in operating process as
required by PSM.
Failure to obtain and evaluate information about contractor
employer's safety performance and programs, as required by PSM.
Failure to establish and implement written procedures to
maintain on-going integrity of process equipment, as required by
Failure to provide required PSM training of each employee
involved in maintaining the on-going integrity of process
Failure to follow good engineering practices in inspection
and testing of process equipment and to make the inspections and
testing with frequency required under PSM.
Deficiencies in equipment that were outside acceptable
limits were not corrected as required by PSM.
Failure to meet various requirements of the standard for
control of potentially hazardous energy (lockout/tagout).
Failure to meet lockout/tagout requirements for energy
Failure to meet requirements of electrical safety standard
on equipment, wiring methods, and installation of electrical
Other violations involving standards for process safety
management, hazardous waste and emergency response, personal
protective equipment, confined space entry, lockout/tagout, fire
brigades, asbestos, benzene, and lack of guard rails, external
corrosion control, hydrogen fluoride alarms, proper valve
labeling, boiler controls and failure to seal valves open beneath
Total of Proposed Penalties