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09-1473-PHI (osha 09-253)
Dec. 3, 2009
Contact: Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5101

US Labor Department's OSHA fines Sunoco Inc. for workplace safety and health hazards at Marcus Hook refinery

MARCUS HOOK, Pa. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Sunoco Inc. in Marcus Hook for workplace safety and health violations. Proposed penalties total $32,000.

OSHA initiated the investigation following an ethylene complex explosion at the Marcus Hook refinery in May 2009. As a result of the investigation, the company was issued one repeat violation, with a penalty of $25,000, and two serious violations, with a penalty of $7,000.

"It is imperative that Sunoco correct all the identified hazards to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for its workers," said Al D'Imperio, OSHA's area director in Philadelphia.

The repeat violation includes the company's failure to establish and implement written procedures to maintain the on-going mechanical integrity of process equipment. OSHA issues a repeat violation when it finds a substantially similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order issued to the same employer within the previous three years.

The serious violations address deficiencies in the company's process hazard analysis. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office; telephone: 215-597-4955.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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