March 10, 2008 | Mark Paradies

OSHA Inspections at 17 Refineries Result in 146 Violations and $896,300 in Fines

Rich Fairfax, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement, says that the National Emphasis Program to inspect refineries will continue. 17 of 81 refineries have been inspected resulting in 146 violations and $896,300 in fines. He said:

“I have no intention of ending it after two years based on what we’re finding.”

(He didn’t say that it was a money maker, but its seems like they are producing a pretty good return on their audit time investment.)

But beyond that, he wants to expand the program to chemical plants.

The program was started after OSHA was criticized for not preventing the BP Texas City explosion even though there had been previous deaths at Texas City. BP refineries accounted for 20 of 29 refinery deaths that occurred from 2005-2008. Fifteen of those were due to the BP Texas City explosion.

Not all refineries are scheduled to be audited because some refineries are in programs (like VPPPA STAR) that exempt them from these inspection and others are in states with their own programs.

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