Worker Killed at BP Texas City Refinery

A contract worker at BP's Texas City, Texas, oil refinery was killed June 6 while working on an idle unit that was being reconditioned prior to restart.

The worker, Richard Liening, 44, of Texas City, was an employee of AMEX Electrical Services Inc. According to an obituary on the Web site of Crowder Funeral Home in LaMarque, Texas – where Liening's funeral services are scheduled for June 9 – Liening was a longtime member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 527 and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He is survived by a number of local family members, including his wife and three daughters.

“We are deeply saddened by this accident and the resulting loss of life,” BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell said. “We immediately began an investigation into the incident and we notified the appropriate authorities, including OSHA.”

According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the Galveston County Medical Examiner's office said that Liening's autopsy indicated that he died of accidental electrocution.

The fatality comes 2 months after the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued its final investigation report on the March 23, 2005, explosion at Texas City that killed 15 workers and injured at least 180 others. The CSB report concluded that corporate budget cuts and lack of executive oversight of safety were major contributors to the 2005 accident.

Since the accident, BP has pledged to spend more than $1 billion to improve safety equipment and processes at Texas City and has said that it is assimilating safety recommendations made by CSB, BP's internal investigation team and an independent panel headed by former Secretary of State James Baker.

For information on the latest developments in the aftermath of the 2005 Texas City tragedy, read "BP Refinery Tragedy Prompts Safety Bills" and "BP Report: Four Managers Accountable for Texas City."

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