Inadequate Process Safety Cited in $202,000 Penalty against Refinery

OSHA has cited Sunoco Inc. in Marcus Hook, Pa., for workplace safety and health violations, proposing a total of $202,000 in penalties. The agency initiated an investigation as part of its National Emphasis Program focused on petroleum refinery process safety management. As a result of the investigation, the company has been issued citations for five repeat violations, with a penalty of $125,000, and 20 serious violations, with a penalty of $77,000.

"The identified violations leave employees at the refinery vulnerable to accidents that could result in injury or possible death," said Al D'Imperio, area director of OSHA's Philadelphia Office.

The repeat violations include the company's failure to maintain diagrams that accurately reflect refinery piping structures and equipment, develop and implement adequate written operating procedures, and update process safety information. OSHA issues repeat violations when it finds a substantially similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order issued to the same employer within the previous three years.

The serious violations were due to deficiencies in the company's process safety management system including an inadequate process hazard analysis, inaccurate documentation of inspections and tests, and the lack of a system for promptly and effectively resolving incident report findings and recommendations. The company also did not provide employees with protective equipment whenever a hazard capable of causing serious injury was encountered. Contractor employees were exposed to corrosive materials and were not provided suitable cleanup facilities, OSHA said. The agency issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

Sunoco has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Download Center

  • The Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. This guide is here to help!

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Thinking of getting an online safety training solution at work but not sure how to evaluate different solutions and find the one that's best for your company? Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • SDS Software Buyer's Guide

    Whether this is your first time shopping for online SDS software or you’re upgrading from a legacy solution, this guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that works best for you and your company.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue