Federal Report Cites Safety Issues at Texas Plant

November 26, 2008

A federal report details safety concerns and citations issued to the East Texas refinery where an explosion killed one worker and injured others last week.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a 36-page report on the Delek refinery to the Tyler Morning Telegraph after the Nov. 20 fire and explosion at the company’s Tyler plant. It lists safety violations at the Delek Refining Ltd. plant from earlier this year that include failing to ensure valves were properly configured and an inability to show structures followed blast resistance guidelines.

The company would not discuss the report.

“We are trying really hard to disclose what we can in written statements to make sure the information is accurate and that everyone gets the information at the same time,” said Delek spokeswoman Susan Morgenstern.

OSHA cited Delek on Feb. 19 saying the company “did not document that the equipment in the process complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices.”

“The employers could not document that the FCCU control room and similarly constructed and operated structures adhered to current industry guidelines in terms of blast resistance in the event of a vapor cloud explosion from flammable hydrocarbon chemical release,” the report stated.

Federal regulators also fined Delek for not ensuring that valves were properly configured, leaving rotating shafts unguarded and storing unlabeled containers of hazardous materials on site. Workers also didn’t wear proper protective clothing when working with hot oil, according to the report.

Delek failed to add vehicle barriers to prevent accidents at the plant, didn’t provide written emergency procedures in the case of an accidental flare system shutoff and had no classification system to prioritize piping inspections based failure consequences. The refinery also didn’t ensure checking for corrosion under insulation, according to the report.

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