BP To Contest OSHA Penalties

BP is contesting citations and penalties totaling $92,000 imposed by OSHA in July, which allege that the company violated safety rules related to process safety management and had not remedied hazardous conditions at its Texas City, Texas, refinery, where a March 2005 explosion killed 15 people and injured many others.

“BP Products North America is contesting the alleged violations and the proposed penalties and abatement dates recently announced by OSHA after an inspection earlier this year at the BP Texas City refinery,” the company said in a statement.

OSHA cited the company on July 20 after inspecting the refinery for safety hazards. OSHA inspectors found four violations of safety rules related to process safety management and one for rules related to hazardous locations.

OSHA regional manager Dean McDaniel said in July that the citations were based on identification of hazardous conditions similar to those that led to the catastrophic 2005 explosion. BP was fined $21.3 million for that incident, after an OSHA investigation immediately after the explosion found that BP had committed more than 300 willful violations.

The company was cited for alleged willful failure to ensure that a pressure relief system on the plant's fractionator vessel conforms to industry codes. OSHA contended that inadequate pressure relief equipment could fail, which could potentially lead to another catastrophic incident.

In response to that particular citation, BP said that it had put “safeguards in place to allow for the continued, safe operation of the unit.” The company said the safeguards entail changes in process controls and the use of instrumentation to greatly reduce the likelihood that the valves would be called into service.

In addition, BP said that as proof of its commitment to process safety management, the company was in the process of completing an engineering project to replace the fractionator tower and modify the pressure relief system. BP said that the “fabrication is well under way and scheduled to be delivered in 2008.”

For more on OSHA's citations on BP, read "OSHA Gets Heavy With BP's Texas City Plant".

TAGS: Archive OSHA
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