CITGO Agrees to Pay $155,250, Make 'Long-Term' Improvements

OSHA and CITGO Petroleum Corp. have agreed on a settlement after the agency's safety inspection revealed multiple violations of federal workplace safety standards at the company's refinery in Lemont, Ill. The company has agreed to pay $155,250 in fines and already has taken corrective action to eliminate unsafe working conditions, OSHA says.

OSHA initiated a safety inspection at the facility in August 2007 in response to the agency's national emphasis program for petroleum refineries. OSHA found during the inspection that the company failed to include pressure relief system design and design bases in the process safety information, failed to document that equipment in the refining process complied with good engineering practice, and failed to develop normal operating procedures. Additional issues addressed by CITGO were hazards found in process hazard analysis including: potential fire hazards; development of emergency procedures; failure to follow recognized and good engineering practice for inspection and testing procedures; inadequate training and education of employees; and other violations.

The refinery employs about 550 employees in Lemont, and that facility has been inspected on two previous occasions since 1982 with a serious violation issued relating to fall protection following a November 2002 inspection. "Injuries and fatalities from incidents at refineries are preventable," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City, Ill. "We are pleased that CITGO is taking quick corrective action to ensure a safe working environment. The company has committed to long-term improvements in its safety and health management systems, which we hope will place the company among the best in the industry."

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