Monday, Oct. 6, 2008
Contact: Diana Petterson Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4709 972-850-4710
WYNNEWOOD, Okla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Wynnewood Refining Co. in Wynnewood with three serious and two repeat violations of OSHA standards, and has proposed penalties totaling $91,000 for allegedly failing to protect employees from hazardous working conditions.
OSHA's Oklahoma City Area Office began its inspection on April 21 following an explosion resulting from the release of flammable liquid and vapor from an open piping system during preparation for maintenance. The facility, which produces gasoline, butane, fuel oils and asphalt, employs 210 people. The company is a subsidiary of Denver, Colo.-based Gary-Williams Energy Corp.
The three serious violations were for failing to document and implement provisions of OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) standard concerning equipment deficiencies, operator training and safe working practices. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.
The two repeat violations were for failing to document design codes, written procedures for normal operations and written procedures for mechanical integrity. The refinery lacked these requirements of the PSM standard with regard to one of the refinery unit's flare systems. A repeat violation is one in which the same or similar standard was cited within the past three years prior to the current inspection.
Wynnewood Refining has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Oklahoma City area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may contact OSHA's Oklahoma City Area Office at 405-278-9560 or call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, having conducted 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 a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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 www.osha.gov.
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