OSHA Proposes Hefty Fines for Refinery Near Toledo, Ohio

March 8, 2010
Charges include willfully exposing workers to hazards. Proposed penalties exceed $3 million.

A refinery jointly owned by BP North American Inc. and Husky Energy Inc. is facing fines exceeding $3 million for more than 60 alleged OSHA violations that placed workers at risk, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said March 8.

OSHA has charged BP North American and BP-Husky Refining LLCs refinery in Oregon, Ohio, with 42 willful violations with proposed penalties totaling $2.94 million. Another 20 serious citations include proposed penalties of $102,000.

BP North American operates the jointly owned refinery.

Among the violations alleged in the citation are 26 instances of deficient pressure relief, three instances of a lack of flame-out protection on heaters and furnaces, and nine instances of facility-siting hazards. Many of the hazards exist, OSHA charges, as a result of conditions that violate OSHAs process safety management standard.

According to an OSHA release, it began its inspection of the refinery in September 2009 as part of its Refinery National Emphasis Program and as a follow-up to a 2006 inspection and a 2007 settlement agreement between OSHA and BP at this location. OSHA stated that its 2009 inspection determined that BP had complied with the settlement agreement but found numerous violations at the plant that were not previously covered by the agreement.

BP North American has 15 business days from its receipt of the citations to comply, request an information conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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