osha fines bp 92000

Oil giant faces serious violations tying into 2005 refinery accident.

BP Products North America has been fined $92,000 by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for one willful and four serious safety violations found during monitoring it conduct at the company’s Texas City plant following a deadly 2005 blast. OSHA cited BP for four violations of safety rules related to process safety management and one for rules related to hazardous locations.

“The citations issued today are based on the identification of hazardous conditions similar to those that led to the tragic March 2005 explosion,” Dean McDaniel, OSHA’s regional administrator in Dallas told the Associated Press.

BP’s one willful violation is for failing to ensure that a pressure relief system for a large pressure vessel called the “fractionator” was set to industry codes.

“The hazard cited is that the inadequate pressure relief equipment could fail, leading to another catastrophic accident,” the agency said.

The fines aren’t the first OSHA has tacked onto BP. In September 2005, the company was issued a $21.3 million fine in connection with an explosion that killed 15 people and injured more than 170. At that time, the OSHA found that BP had committed more than 300 willful violations.

As part of an agreement BP signed with OSHA when 2005 citations were issued, the company agreed to review its process safety management systems and equipment throughout the entire refinery. The company has 15 working days after receiving the citations to comply, to request an informal conference with OSHA officials or to contest the citations and fines, according to the Associated Press.

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