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OSHA Regional News Brief
Region 5

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.


March 3, 2015


OSHA cites Toledo Refining Company following September fire
Company failed to address safe operating procedures

Employer name: Toledo Refining Company LLC

Investigation site: 1819 Woodville Road, Oregon, Ohio

Date investigation initiated and what prompted inspection: On Sept. 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Toledo Area Office initiated an inspection of the petroleum refinery after a fire occurred in a heater at the facility, used to process crude oil. The refinery sustained some minor damage but no injuries were reported.

Investigation findings: OSHA's initiated the investigation under its National Emphasis Program for Process Safety Management at refineries, which contains specific requirements for managing highly hazardous materials.

One repeated violation was issued because operating procedures did not specify the consequences of deviating from established policies or detail safety and health hazards encountered during the operation of equipment in the facility. The company had revised its procedures and failed to test them through a required review and implementation processes. This resulted in deficiencies that contributed to the fire. The company was previously cited for this violation in 2013 at this same facility. OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer was cited for a similar violation in the past five years.

The company also failed to involve employee representatives in developing shutdown procedures for the process heater. Additionally, the company did not follow management of change procedures when revising its operating procedures for process equipment, such as for removing steam from the heater, resulting in three serious violations. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exist.

Quote: "Working with highly hazardous products carries with it the responsibility to ensure employees are well versed in operating procedures as well as steps to take to immediately correct unforeseen issues safely," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "By failing to establish such procedures, Toledo Refining Company put workers at risk when such issues resulted in a flash fire. The company must immediately review its procedures and training to prevent such incidents in the future."

Proposed Penalties: $59,500

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Toledo Area Office at (419) 259-7542

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-6976,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976,

Release Number: 15-354-CHI

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