Pennzoil-Quaker State To Pay Fine for Explosion

Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery in Shreveport, La., has agreed to pay the $160,000 OSHA\r\npenalty resulting from a January fire and explosion.

Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery in Shreveport, La., has agreed not to contest safety citations issued by OSHA and to pay the $160,000 penalty resulting from a January fire and explosion.

The citations and penalty resulted from an OSHA investigation that began in response to the accident that occurred Jan. 18, in the refinery''s Naptha Unifiner Unit because of the rupture of a heat exchanger due to chloride corrosion.

One employee was severely burned and two other employees were also hospitalized.

The Shreveport refinery, which employs approximately 300 workers, has its company''s headquarters in Houston, Texas.

The company was cited for violations of the general duty clause, the process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals (PSM) standard, and the hazardous waste and emergency response standard.

Pennzoil-Quaker State Refinery has agreed to abate the cited violations as quickly as possible and to implement the safety provisions stipulated in the settlement agreement.

"An employer''s commitment to and employee participation in a comprehensive safety program are steps to prevention of accidents," said John J. Deifer, OSHA area director in Baton Rouge, La. "The settlement agreement avoids the burden of a possible prolonged litigation and promotes the implementation of rapid abatement."

The Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers (PACE) Local 4-245 and International representatives consulted and assisted OSHA with the settlement agreement.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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