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OSHA Slaps BP With Record Fine For Not Fixing Blast Hazards

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Oct. 30 levied the largest proposed fine in its history against oil company BP Products North America for failure to correct hazards associated with a 2005 explosion at its Texas City, Texas, refinery that killed 15 employees of its contractors, Fluor Corp. and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. About 170 people were injured in the blast. OSHA seeks to fine BP $87.4 million for a total of 270 violations linked to the explosion, plus 439 new willful violations for failing to adopt effective controls on the refinery’s pressure-relief safety system. OSHA and BP reached an agreement in 2005 in which BP agreed to address hazards that could lead to another explosion. “BP was given four years to correct the safety issues identified pursuant to the settlement agreement, yet OSHA has found hundreds of violations of the agreement and hundreds of new violations,” says Jordan Barab, OSHA acting assistant secretary. BP says it will contest the citations.

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