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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited ConocoPhillips Company for safety and health violations, proposing $116,500 in penalties. The Trainer, Pa., petroleum refinery has 425 employees.
OSHA initiated its investigation on June 19, 2008, as part of a National Emphasis Program focus on petroleum refinery process safety management. As a result, the company has been issued 26 serious violations, with a penalty of $91,500, and one repeat violation, with a penalty of $25,000.
"Each of these violations could lead to serious injury and possible death," says OSHA’s Al D'Imperio. "It is imperative that ConocoPhillips abate these hazards to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for employees."
The repeat violation is due to the company's failure to review operating procedures as often as necessary. OSHA issues repeat violations when it finds a substantially similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order.
The serious violations include the company's failure to provide the appropriate devices for material storage; to properly document its use of equipment; to establish a system to promptly address hazard analysis findings; to address the hazard of explosion in occupied buildings; to address human factors; to develop and implement operating procedures; to provide appropriate training; to confirm all requirements of pre-startup safety review were in place; to follow management of change procedures; and to correct deficiencies that were outside of acceptable limits. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
ConocoPhillips has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.