CITGO Refinery Receive 25 Safety Violations

OSHA is proposing $110,000 in penalties for 25 alleged serious safety violations uncovered at CITGO Asphalt Refining Co.'s plant in Savannah, Ga.

"OSHA has conducted more than 45 inspections at various CITGO facilities and there is no excuse for the problems found at this refinery," said John J. Deifer, OSHA's area director in Savannah.

While the plant has changed ownership, CITGO remains responsible for the deficiencies identified during the safety inspection initiated in January as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program for petroleum refineries. Under the program, every refinery under OSHA's jurisdiction is being inspected.

The 25 serious safety violations include failing to take adequate precautions when working around combustible liquids, failure to inspect and test process equipment in accordance with good engineering practices, inadequate emergency response plans, inaccurate piping and instrumentation diagrams, and not informing contractors of known hazards. CITGO Asphalt Refining failed to correct deficiencies in equipment that was operating outside acceptable limits required for continued safe operation, thus endangering the safety and health of its employees.

The company has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Savannah area office, 450 Mall Blvd., Suite J; telephone 912-652-4393.

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