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National News Release 07-442-NAT
March 22, 2007
Contact: Sharon Worthy
Phone: (202) 693-4676

OSHA focuses on refinery safety
Hearing reinforces importance of effort

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to make the safety and health of workers in America's refineries a priority, and today's hearing on the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's (CSB) report on the BP accident in Texas City, Texas, reinforces the importance of this effort.

"The refinery industry has been a major focus for OSHA," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr., "and the CSB report confirms we are on the right track. OSHA already has implemented two of the CSB's three major recommendations and increased our inspections in the refining industry." Last year, OSHA and its state partners conducted more than 100 refinery inspections. Thus far in fiscal year 2007, an additional 50 refinery inspections have taken place.

Additional staff training is a key part of OSHA's refinery strategy. "To date, we have trained more than 160 OSHA staff in the principles of conducting a Process Safety Management (PSM) inspection, and by August of this year we will have 280 PSM-trained inspectors," said Foulke. These staff will ensure that under a new National Emphasis Program, every refinery under OSHA's jurisdiction is inspected.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers must provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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