Washington State Fines BP For Safety Violations At Refinery

BP Cherry Point, located west of Ferndale, is the most important refinery in Washington, processing 225,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Fixed tube plate heat exchangerAbout 10 workers from the BP Cherry Point refinery have been sent to Louisiana to help with efforts to include the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico.

By the end of the week, 20 employees will probably be in the world, mentioned Bill Kidd, director of exterior affairs at Cherry Level. About 800 workers work at the Cherry Point refinery.

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In a press launch, Labor and Industries stated its inspection targeted on the hydrocracker process unit, which refines low-grade oil into gasoline. Twelve of the violations contain rules governing the management of extremely hazardous chemicals. One of the violations includes a failure to offer correct machine guarding.

The 12 process security administration problems included failure to routinely inspect or maintain safety control units, resembling stress safety valves; inaccurate or outdated instrument diagrams; and failure to document whether identified security hazards had been corrected. One violation noted that there were 38 cases of safety recommendations for which there was no report they have been ever implemented.

“The security violations our inspectors uncovered at BP had been issues much like these we’ve uncovered in the entire refineries we now have inspected in Washington,” Michael Silverstein, assistant director for L&I’s Division of Occupational Security and Well being, said in a press launch. “Petroleum refineries are inherently risky work environments, and following the security regulations is the important thing to preventing explosions and different life-threatening occasions.”

BP has 15 days to appeal the newest fines.

Firm spokesman Invoice Kidd said officials have not had time to evaluation the L&I citations however stated his firm needs to work with regulators to keep up and improve security.

“We take the duty for the safety of our workers and our neighbors very critically,” Kidd mentioned. “It’s our top priority. . . . While we’re proud of our monitor record, there’s all the time room for improvement.”

The inspections leading to the fines started in November, months before the April explosion and fire at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes that killed seven employees. The inspections were a part of a statewide emphasis on refinery safety that began in 2007 as a response to a federal initiative. Regulators mounted that initiative after a lot of refinery mishaps, the worst of which was a 2005 explosion at a BP refinery in Texas that killed 15 staff.

After the Texas catastrophe, BP convened an elite panel to report on safety practices in any respect of its refineries. The report typically gave the Cherry Level refinery excessive marks for security precautions.

In 2005, a worker employed by a refinery upkeep firm died after he fell from a scaffold inside a refining tower at the Cherry Point refinery. Each BP and the contracting agency have been fined for safety violations after that incident.

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