The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to make the safety and health of workers in America's refineries a priority, and this week’s hearing on the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's (CSB) report on the BP accident in Texas City, Texas, reinforces the importance of this effort.

"The refinery industry has been a major focus for OSHA, and the CSB report confirms we are on the right track," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "OSHA already has implemented two of the CSB's three major recommendations and increased our inspections in the refining industry."

Last year, OSHA and its state partners conducted more than 100 refinery inspections. Thus far in fiscal year 2007, an additional 50 refinery inspections have taken place.

Additional staff training is a key part of OSHA's refinery strategy.

"To date, we have trained more than 160 OSHA staff in the principles of conducting a Process Safety Management (PSM) inspection, and by August of this year we will have 280 PSM-trained inspectors," said Foulke.

These staff will ensure that under a new National Emphasis Program, every refinery under OSHA's jurisdiction is inspected.