OSHA announced that it has fined BP Products of North America $92,000 for violations at its refinery in Texas City. The citations come as the result of a March 2005 accident that killed 15 people and injured 170 others.
One citation was issued for an alleged willful violation—failing to ensure that the pressure-relief system for a vessel called a “fractionator” conformed to industry codes. OSHA also issued serious citations for BP’s failure to identify, evaluate and address the hazards in the fractionator processing unit; for BP’s failure to ensure that piping and instrument diagrams were accurate; for failing to ensure the installation of the correct pressure relief valves; and for failing to ensure that BP used intrinsically safe electrical equipment where flammable liquids and gases were processed.
In a statement, BP said it “had already identified issues with the pressure-relief system on the ‘fractionator’ tower and had adopted safeguards to allow for the continued, safe operation of the unit.” BP also stated that it is reviewing OSHA’s citations and the alleged violation, and plans to respond shortly.
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