OSHA Fines Valero Energy in Port Arthur, Texas, More Than $100K

April 17, 2008

Alleging safety violations at Valero Energy Corporation’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties totaling $101,750.

OSHA alleges 13 serious, two repeat and one other-than-serious violation following an investigation that began Oct. 16, 2007, at the Port Arthur refinery. Valero, headquartered in San Antonio, has about 830 employees at its Port Arthur facility.

Dean McDaniel, OSHA’s regional administrator in Dallas, said Valero “has expressed a willingness to take quick, corrective actions in resolving the safety and health violations.”

Serious violations include failing to: implement accurate process safety information, provide employees with accurate operating procedures, have an adequate system in place to advance recommendations from process hazard analysis and correct equipment deficiencies. A serious violation is one with potential to cause death or serious physical harm to employees when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The repeat violations address the company’s failure to implement inspection and testing procedures that follow OSHA’s standards and regulations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Houston, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA, www.osha.gov

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