Citgo Refinery in La. Hit by Proposed OSHA Fine of $169K

February 14, 2008

Federal safety investigators have proposed $169,000 in fines against Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s refinery in Lake Charles, La., on allegations of failing to protect employees from hazardous working conditions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it issued Citgo three citations alleging willful failure to follow federal safety requirements and 12 citations alleging serious violations.

“Citgo Petroleum failed to follow OSHA’s process safety management standards,” said OSHA regional administrator Dean McDaniel. “In this case, it was fortunate that no injuries occurred.”

A willful violation is one in which federal standards are disregarded, while serious violations are those that the company should have known about and could result in death or serious injury, OSHA said.

The company, which has about 1,400 employees at the refinery, has 15 days to comply, request an informal review conference with OSHA officials or contest the citations and fine before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A spokesman for Houston-based Citgo, which also has refineries in Texas and Illinois, did not return a call for comment.

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