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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-09-502-DAL
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Contact: Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4710

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites oil refinery in east Texas for 30 safety violations following 2 fatalities

TYLER, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Delek Refining Ltd. in Tyler with an alleged willful and 29 alleged serious violations after a fire and explosion claimed the lives of two workers and injured three others.

"OSHA's Process Safety Management standard contains specific requirements that are essential to the safety and health of workers in the petroleum refining industry, and it is crucial that employers follow these safety and health requirements," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "If Delek had followed OSHA's standards, it is possible this tragic accident could have been avoided."

OSHA's Dallas Area Office began its investigation Nov. 20 at the company's facility on East Commerce Street in Tyler. Flammable vapors were ignited after a Naphtha (flammable liquid) discharge line ruptured at the saturated-gas unit, killing two workers and injuring three others. The investigation found a willful violation for failing to adequately maintain and repair processing equipment. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Serious citations were issued for violations of OSHA's Process Safety Management involving electrical, asbestos, benzene and portable fire extinguisher standards. Serious citations are issued when death or serious injury could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Delek Refining, which employs about 270 workers in Tyler, is a high conversion, independent refinery with a design crude distillation capacity of about 60,000 barrels per day.

Proposed penalties total $217,350.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Dallas area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Dallas area employers and workers with questions about safety and health can call 214-320-2400 or OSHA's hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or imminent dangers.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. 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


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