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Region 4 News Release: 08-822-ATL (154)
July 15, 2008
Contact: Michael Wald
Violations result in $110,000 in proposed penalties
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $110,000 in penalties for 25 alleged serious safety violations uncovered at CITGO Asphalt Refining Co.'s plant in Savannah.
"OSHA has conducted more than 45 inspections at various CITGO facilities and there is no excuse for the problems found at this refinery," said John J. Deifer, OSHA's area director in Savannah.
While the plant has changed ownership, CITGO remains responsible for the deficiencies identified during the safety inspection initiated in January as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program for petroleum refineries. Under the program, every refinery under OSHA's jurisdiction is being inspected.
The 25 serious safety violations include failing to take adequate precautions when working around combustible liquids, failure to inspect and test process equipment in accordance with good engineering practices, inadequate emergency response plans, inaccurate piping and instrumentation diagrams and not informing contractors of known hazards. CITGO Asphalt Refining failed to correct deficiencies in equipment that was operating outside acceptable limits required for continued safe operation, thus endangering the safety and health of its employees.
The company has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Savannah area office, 450 Mall Blvd., Suite J; telephone 912-652-4393.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting 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.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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