Safety Citations Against Texas Refinery Upheld

June 2, 2011

Administrative Law Judge Dennis L. Phillips of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld seven serious citations issued to Delek Refining Ltd. by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration as a result of violations found at the company’s Tyler, Texas, refinery.

The judge also affirmed the full amount of penalties, $32,850, proposed by OSHA.

OSHA’s Dallas Area Office began an inspection on Feb. 19, 2008, as part of its Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program. The agency issued citations for violations of the process safety management standard, failing to guard a rotating shaft in the boiler unit and to label some vessels that held hazardous chemicals to show what the vessels contained.

The PSM standard is intended to prevent unexpected releases of hazardous chemicals, especially in locations that could expose employees and others to serious hazards. OSHA found that several PSM violations were systemic in nature and had existed for years.

Brentwood, Tenn.–based Delek Refining disputed OSHA’s citations before the OSHRC, a separate federal agency that was created to decide contests of citations and/or penalties resulting from workplace inspections.

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