Safety Numbers Improve for Petrochemical and Refining Industries

The number of facilities in the petrochemical and refining industries working without a reportable incident increased from 27 in 2003 to 36 in 2004, according to a survey conducted by the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

Data for the trade association's annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses is submitted by member facilities according to the regulations established by OSHA. The report contains data for the calendar year 2004.

During 2004, the recordable injury and illness rate for the refining sector was 1.16 cases per 100 full-time employees, and 0.95 for the petrochemical sector. Additionally, 187 member facilities recorded no lost workday incidents.

By comparison, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in calendar year 2003 -- the latest year in which data is available from the agency -- that the average recordable injury and illness rate for private industry was 5.0 cases per 100 full-time employees.

For 2004, a total of 245 member facilities participated in the report -- 118 refineries and 127 petrochemical plants. Participation in the program is up from 238 facilities -- 117 refineries and 121 petrochemical plants -- in 2003.

The report provides member companies with a benchmark to use to compare their facility safety programs with others in the industry. The focus is on promoting continuous improvement with the ultimate goal of no recordable incidents at all member facilities.

The report also indicates national trends in the injury and illness rates of the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. The National Petroleum and Refiners Association data mirrors the OSHA 300A form and includes the total recordable incidence rate; days away, restricted or transferred rate; day count rate; and fatality and days away from work case rate.

Since the trade association began publishing the report in the mid-1970s, recordable injuries and illnesses by member facilities have dropped steadily.

The complete report is available to member companies free of charge. Non-members may obtain a summary report for $25 by submitting an application form, available online at

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