Arkansas refinery cited for willful and repeat violations after follow-up OSHA
inspection found workers exposed to hazards
Martin Operating Partnership in Smackover fined $126,900
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Martin Operating Partnership LP has been cited for five safety and health violations, including one willful and one repeat, with proposed penalties totaling $126,900. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found deficiencies in the employer's process safety management program and other workplace hazards at its Smackover refinery.
The inspection, which began in January, was a follow-up to a 2010 inspection initiated under the agency's Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program. PSM encompasses a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to address hazards proactively that are associated with processes and equipment that use large amounts of hazardous chemicals. In this case, it involves the production of naphthenic crude oil.
The one willful violation involve failing to ensure relief valves were properly sized and of adequate capacity to provide relief, for units such as, but not limited to, Crude Unit #1. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The repeat violation involves failing to ensure process safety information included the relief system design for a Crude Unit. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in the 2010 inspection.
Three serious violations were cited for failing to ensure intervening block valves, upstream and downstream of relief devices, were locked in the open position; ensure process hazard analysis recommendations for facility siting were resolved in a timely manner; and ensure energy control procedures were written to specifically relieve stored energy. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Process safety management prevents the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals," said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock. "It's vital that Martin Operating Partnership ensure safeguards are in place to protect the safety of workers."
The citations can be viewed at https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MartinOperatingPartnership_843783_0718_13.pdf*.
The company, owned by Martin Midstream Partners LP and headquartered in Kilgore, Texas, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 Little Rock office at 501-224-1841.
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 ensure these conditions exist for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.