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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Valero Energy Corporation and proposed penalties totaling $101,750 for alleged safety violations.
OSHA issued the citations alleging 13 serious, two repeat and one other-than-serious violation following an investigation that began October 16, 2007, at the company's Port Arthur, Texas, refinery. The inspection was initiated as part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program for petroleum refineries. Valero, headquartered in San Antonio, has approximately 830 employees at its Port Arthur facility.
"We are pleased that Valero has expressed a willingness to take quick, corrective actions in resolving the safety and health violations," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas.
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. Repeat violations are issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same, or a substantially similar, violation that has become a final order.
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.