OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-1564-DAL
Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
HOUSTON -- BP Amoco's Texas City oil and gas refinery has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for its alleged failure to protect employees from a chemical release and fire. Proposed penalties total $63,000.
OSHA issued citations to the refinery for 14 alleged serious violations of safety standards following an investigation that began March 30 when a pipe ruptured on a furnace, releasing flammable vapors that ignited a fire in the Ultraformer No. 4 (UU4) desulfurizer section.
"BP Amoco had the experience and knowledge to prevent this accident, yet allowed hazardous conditions to develop," said Charles Williams, OSHA Houston South area director. "OSHA will not tolerate this disregard for worker protection."
The alleged serious violations address failures to identify, evaluate and control hazards associated with the emergency shutdown system; to activate the emergency shutdown system; to train of employees to use the emergency shutdown system, and to inspect and maintain process equipment. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, to request an informal conference with the OSHA Houston South area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Houston South Office at (281) 286-0583 or OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing an imminent danger to workers.
OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections in fiscal year 2003, an increase of more than 2,000 over fiscal 2002 inspection levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at <http://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. DOL 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.
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