OSHA seeks $122K in fines vs. Shreveport-based refinery

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued $122,400 in citations to Calumet Shreveport Lubricants & Waxes LLC in Louisiana for one alleged willful violation, seven alleged serious violations and one alleged repeat violation of federal health and safety regulations.

"Calumet Shreveport Lubricant & Waxes failed to follow OSHA's process safety management standards," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "Employers must remain committed to keeping the workplace safe and healthful to prevent injuries and fatalities."

The willful violation was issued for failing to review and update operating procedures. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The seven serious violations included failing to update process equipment to meet recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; failing to address the loss of the flare header system, a safety feature to prevent over pressurization in the event of an emergency; failing to develop a written schedule for process hazard analysis action items; and failing to certify operating procedures were being followed. Serious violations are issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious injury could occur from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The repeat violation was issued for failing to maintain documentation of inspection results. A repeat violation is defined as a violation that was previously cited where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found. This facility was cited for violating this same standard on July 29, 2004.

Calumet Shreveport Lubricant & Waxes, which specializes in refining gasoline and lubricants, employs about 130 workers at its Shreveport site and 350 workers company-wide. The company operates two additional refineries in northern Louisiana and a terminal in Indianapolis.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Baton Rouge area director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.

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