OSHA Fines Louisiana Oil Refinery $207.5K for Safety Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Calumet Lubricants Co. LP in Cotton Valley, La., a subsidiary of Indianapolis, Ind.-based Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP, with 45 alleged serious and 13 other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to possible fires, explosions and other hazards. Proposed penalties total $207,500.

OSHA inspected the refinery under its Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program. The PSM standard emphasizes the management of hazards associated with highly hazardous chemicals and establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures and management practices.

OSHA’s Baton Rouge Area Office began its inspection Sept. 15, 2010, at the company’s facility on Old Highway 7. Serious violations include failing to conduct adequate inspections and testing of piping and pressure vessels; ensure that employees in process and administrative buildings were provided adequate protection in case of an explosion; implement written operating procedures; resolve recommended actions resulting from compliance audits; provide an adequate confined space program; and provide an adequate lockout/tagout program for the control of hazardous energy.

Other-than-serious violations include failing to provide the required machine guarding and correct electrical hazards.

In 2004, Calumet Lubricants Co. was cited for other-than-serious violations totaling $8,500. Calumet Shreveport Lubricant & Waxes in Shreveport, another Calumet Specialty Products Partners subsidiary, was cited in 2007 for willful, serious and repeat violations totaling $122,400, and again in February 2010 for serious and repeat violations totaling $173,000.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners and its subsidiaries employ about 600 workers at six refineries within northwest Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Calumet Lubricants Co. has 15 working days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA