23 Serious Violations in Washington State's First Big Refinery Inspection

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has cited Shell Oil Co.'s Equilon refinery in Anacortes, Wash., with 23 serious violations and $109,600 in total penalties after a focused inspection found alleged deficiencies in process safety information; failure to identify, evaluate, and control process hazards; inadequate training; potential failure of existing engineering and administrative safety controls; and human performance issues during emergencies, L&I said.

The inspection was conducted as part of federal OSHA's National Emphasis Program started after the BP refinery explosion in March 2005 in Texas City, Texas. Equilon was the first of Washington’s four large refineries to undergo the inspection.

L&I said the inspections are focused on refineries' development and implementation of systems to reduce the potential for catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals. A team of L&I officers went to the Anacortes refinery two days per week for two months to conduct that inspection and reviewed 10,000 pages of documents.

Shell has has 15 working days to appeal the citation.

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