The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that they and BP Oil have resolved 409 citations issued by the agency in October 2009 for willful violations of safety management standards at BP’s refinery in Texas City. Under this agreement, BP will pay $13 million in fines, and will resolve all existing violations by the end of 2012.
“Protecting workers and saving lives is the ultimate goal of this agreement,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “For the workers at BP’s Texas City refinery, this settlement will help establish a culture of safety. The workers who help keep our nation’s oil and gas industries running deserve to go to work each day without fear of losing their lives.”
In September 2005, BP was cited for a record $21 million as a result of the explosion at its Texas City refinery, which killed 15 workers, and left dozens more with toxic injury claims. At that time, the company entered an agreement with OSHA that required it to identify and correct deficiencies.
In a follow-up investigation four years later, OSHA determined that BP had made some improvements at the facilities, yet still failed to correct a number of crucial items, leading OSHA to issue 270 failure-to-abate notices. In a 2010 settlement, BP paid $50.6 million to resolve those problems. Also in 2009, OSHA cited BP for 439 willful violations of the agency’s pressure relief safety systems standard, along with failure to follow industry-accepted engineering practices. Those citations carried total $30.7 million in fines.
To read the July13 agreement, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/bp/FINALEXECUTEDSettlement.pdf*. For a timeline on OSHA’s actions regarding BP, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/bp/bp.html.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
If you have sustained a work injury, need assistance with your workers compensation benefits from the Department of Labor and Industries, or need to appeal a rejected workers compensation claim, contact an L&I attorney at Emery Reddy today. Our experienced Workers’ Comp Attorneys can also help workers who have been required to complete an independent medical exam, or who have may have a Third Party Injury Claim.