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OSHA News Release
Region 5

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Region 5 News Release: 08-209-CHI
Feb. 21, 2008
Contact: Scott Allen or Brad Mitchell
Phone: 312-353-6976

Murphy Oil USA Inc. takes corrective action after U.S. Labor Department's OSHA conducts safety inspection

SUPERIOR, Wis. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Murphy Oil USA Inc. have agreed on a settlement after the agency's safety inspection revealed violations of federal workplace safety standards at the company's refinery in Superior.

Murphy Oil has agreed to pay $179,100 in fines and already has taken corrective action to eliminate unsafe working conditions.

OSHA initiated a safety inspection at the facility in August 2007 as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program for petroleum refineries. OSHA found during the inspection that alarms used to alert operators of failing positive pressure systems were deactivated and not continuously monitored.

Murphy Oil also has agreed to abate issues associated with fall protection, emergency action and response plans, lockout/tagout procedures that are intended to prevent machinery from functioning while employees perform maintenance, firefighting training and safety management procedures.

Murphy Oil USA Inc. employs about 155 employees in Superior, and 2,000 production and 4,000 retail employees nationwide. OSHA has inspected this site twice and cited it for one serious violation in the past.

"Injuries and fatalities from incidents at refineries are preventable," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire, Wis. "We are pleased that Murphy is taking quick corrective action to ensure a safe working environment. The company has committed to long-term improvements in its safety and health management systems, which we hope will place the company among the best in the industry."

OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role 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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