OSHA has cited BP Products North America Inc. for 11 safety violations and has proposed a $156,250 fine. The agency was investigating the death of two workers at an Oregon, Ohio, refinery. The employees were trying to correct rising liquid levels in the fuel gas mix drum when a flammable vapor cloud formed, ignited, and caused an explosion. During their investigation, OSHA discovered that naphtha, a flammable substance, was released “when flow control valves were opened in an attempt to regulate an overfill occurring in upstream process equipment. The opened valve allowed the flammable liquid to enter the refinery's fuel gas system.”
OSHA also determined that BP Products was not adequately training its employees and failed to implement shutdown procedures for the equipment when the naphtha was released.
In a recent quote, OSHA Area Director Todd Jensen said, "Federal safety standards require BP Products North America Inc. to develop companywide process safety and response procedures that address worst-case scenarios. This tragedy is a reminder of why employers must consistently reevaluate those procedures for accuracy and ensure workers are properly trained to respond in dangerous situations."