Region 2 News Release: OSHA-06-1937-DAL
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
WYNNEWOOD, Okla. -- A Wynnewood employer's alleged failure to protect employees from safety and health hazards has resulted in citations for 22 alleged violations of standards from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Proposed penalties total $154,800.
Wynnewood Refining Co. was cited following an initial inspection that began May 9 and again on May 12 following a fire and explosion at the refinery plant in Wynnewood. The facility, which produces gasoline, propane, propylene, butane, fuel oils, asphalts, distillates and solvents, is a subsidiary of Gary-Williams Energy Corp. based in Denver. There are about 184 employees at the Wynnewood site.
"If the company had followed OSHA's standards and procedures, it is possible that this incident could have been avoided," said James Brown, OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City. "Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. It is fortunate that no injuries or fatalities occurred."
The willful violation was for failing to properly maintain processing equipment relating to the operation of the hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit when it was evident that flare line leaks were occurring, exposing employees to hydrocarbons and hydrofluoric acid. A willful violation is issued for intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the OSHA law and regulations.
Serious violations include failure to provide required fall protection, properly maintain electrical equipment, provide adequate respiratory protection and provide the required machine guarding. A serious violations is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known. One other-than-serious citation was issued for failing to maintain required employee injury and illness recordkeeping.
Wynnewood Refining has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Oklahoma City area office or to 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 can call the Oklahoma City OSHA area office at (405) 278-95608 or OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1 (800) 321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace 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 information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.