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Region 6 News Release: 11-1158-DAL
Sept. 13, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd   Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710   972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov   rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites ExxonMobil refinery in Baton Rouge,
La., for exposing workers to possible fires and explosions, other violations

BATON ROUGE, La. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Co. in Baton Rouge for violations – 20 serious and two other-than-serious – for exposing workers to possible fires and explosions, among other hazards. Proposed penalties total $126,600 following a March 14 inspection by OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office at the company's petroleum refinery on Scenic Highway.

"This company exposed its workers to serious safety and health hazards by failing to comply with OSHA's process safety management regulations," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "It is fortunate that in this case that no one was injured."

The serious violations involve failing to investigate incidents as being related to process safety management, equipment repair, address inconsistent thickness measurements collected during pressure vessel inspections, maintain accurate and updated engineering drawings, and ensure that written operating procedures were certified as being current and accurate. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations involve failing to ensure that a plate protecting electrical components remained affixed to its housing and deficiencies identified in the emergency action plan. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Co. is a division of Exxon Mobil Corp. The Baton Rouge refinery employs about 2,100 workers and specializes in the production of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, aviation fuel, lubricating oils and waxes. The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A copy of the citations is available at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/ExxonMobil_314769704_9-13-11.pdf.*

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Baton Rouge office at 225-298-5458. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


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