OSHA Cites Arkansas Refinery for Alleged Safety, Health Violations

September 23, 2010

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations to Martin Operating Partnership LP, in Smackover, Ark., for one alleged willful and 21 alleged serious violations of federal health and safety regulations. Penalties total $165,600.

OSHA’s Little Rock Area Office began its inspection on March 23 at the company’s facility in Smackover as part of the agency’s National Emphasis Program for Process Safety Management of Refineries. The facility produces naphthenic crude oil and employs about 65 workers. It is owned by Martin Midstream Partners LP, which is headquartered in Kilgore, Texas.

The willful violation is for failing to maintain process safety information for the design of various pressure vessels such as the atmospheric distillation unit, vacuum unit, desalter and steam blowdown drum. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Serious violations include failing to provide the required information for changes on process safety management, provide an initial process hazard analysis, establish procedures on the integrity of process equipment, ensure that written operating procedures were made available regarding various equipment, ensure that workers entering confined spaces were provided with a prompt means of rescue in the event of an emergency, and to provide required respiratory protection and personal protective equipment.

Martin Operating Partnership has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Little Rock Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA

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