A fatal accident in January at a Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery has resulted in citations by OSHA against Citgo Refining and Chemicals Co. of Corpus Christi and Joint Venture Piping Inc. of Laporte, Texas.
OSHA cited Citgo for 11 alleged safety violations and proposed penalties totaling $120,000. Joint Venture Piping was cited for 17 alleged safety violations with proposed penalties totaling $107,000.
Citgo Refining and Chemicals Co. employs about 548 workers. Joint Venture Piping, a pipe fabrication and welding contractor, employs about 75 workers.
The alleged safety violations were discovered during an inspection that began Jan. 19, 2001, after the death of a Joint Venture Piping Inc. employee working at the Citgo Refinery site in Corpus Christi.
Citgo was cited for one alleged willful and 10 alleged serious violations. Joint Venture Piping was cited for one alleged willful and 16 alleged serious violations.
The alleged willful violations for both companies were for failure to develop and implement procedures to rescue workers in a confined space.
Employees who enter and work inside a confined space must follow a precise series of steps to control hazardous conditions before entry.
The alleged serious violations for both companies were for failure to evaluate hazards of the confined space, failure to develop procedures to coordinate entries of multiple contractors and failure to properly train and develop safe work practices.
Both companies have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to either comply or contest them.
by Virginia Foran