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Region 6 News Release: DOL-OSHA-09-1555-DAL (438)
Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009
Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Phone: 404-562-2076

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Murphy Oil U.S.A. Inc. in Meraux, La., for alleged safety and health violations

MERAUX, La. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Murphy Oil U.S.A. Inc. with alleged serious violations of federal health and safety regulations following an inspection at the company's facility on East St. Bernard Highway in Meraux. Proposed penalties total $85,500.

OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office began its investigation July 7 as part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Petroleum Refineries.

The investigation resulted in 18 serious violations, including failing to provide an adequate relief system design to prevent possible fire and explosions for the Hydro Cracker unit, to ensure that equipment in the refining process complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, to sufficiently develop and implement a written mechanical integrity program, to conduct regularly scheduled piping inspections, and to report findings and recommendations from incident investigations.

A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"In order to protect workers from potential hazards at high risk facilities, OSHA's process safety management regulations must be followed," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, La. "We are hopeful that this company will take the necessary corrective action to prevent injuries and illnesses."

Murphy Oil U.S.A., headquartered in El Dorado, Ark., operates refineries in Meraux and Superior, Wis. The Meraux facility employs about 315 workers engaged in the refining and transportation of petroleum products.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health may contact OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office at 225-298-5458. A toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees; telephone 800-321-6742.

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


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