The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $147,000 in fines against Sunoco Inc. (R&M), an oil refinery in Oregon, Ohio, for alleged willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards.
OSHA initiated a safety inspection at the facility in April 2009 and found one serious violation and two willful violations. The most critical citations issued are for the alleged failure to ensure the use of properly engineered pipe clamps; ensure pipe leaks were repaired properly; repair or replace pipe valves, follow proper repair procedures and implement safe practices for hazard control during the service and maintenance process.
"Injuries and fatalities from incidents at refineries are preventable," said Jule Hovi, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "OSHA will not tolerate employers who ignore safety hazards that threaten the lives and well-being of their workers."
Sunoco Inc. has about 500 employees at its Oregon refinery and 13,500 employees company-wide. OSHA has inspected the site five times since 1974. The agency has inspected Sunoco-owned and operated refinery complexes, petrochemical plants and bulk terminals 35 times since 1970. The inspections have resulted in more than 100 citations.
Sunoco has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.