OSHA Levies $87 Million Dollar Fine Against BP

BP logo-300The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $87,430,000 in propose penalties against BP Products North America, Inc. for 709 alleged failures to comply with the 2005 settlement agreement and citations, and violations of safety and health standards identified during the agency’s inspection of the corporation’s refinery in Texas City, TX (BPTCR). The inspection of the refinery was conducted from May through October 2009.

Summary of Alleged Violations and Penalties

439 willful, per-instance citations with total penalties of $30,730,000 will also be issued for new violations of the PSM standard. A willful violation exists under the Act where an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the Act or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

A Notification of Failure to Abate for violation of two provisions of the 2005 settlement agreement with a penalty of $56,700,000 will also be issued as a result of 270 separate violations. In order to achieve the necessary deterrent effect, the Area Director exercised his discretion in issuing the highest gravity-based penalty due to the employer’s extensive knowledge of the hazards, and OSHA regulations, and past events at the site. The total penalty to be issued to this employer is $87,430,000.

Individual Relief Device deficiencies

  • 411 instances (New violations)
  • Standard Violated: §1910.119(d)(3)(i) and §1910.119(d)(3)(ii) grouped with §1910.119(j)(5)
  • Classified as Willful Egregious
  • Proposed penalties: $28,770,000

Failure to provide operating limits in procedures

  • 28 instances (New violations)
  • Standard Violated: §1910.119(f)(1)(ii)
  • Classified as Willful Egregious
  • Proposed penalties: $1,960,000

Failure to perform relief device studies

  • 28 instances
  • Did not comply with Settlement Agreement
  • Classified as Failure to Abate (FTA)
  • Proposed penalties: $5,880,000

Failure to implement International Society of Automation (ISA) S84.00.01 standard for safety instrumented systems

  • 242 instances
  • Did not comply with Settlement Agreement
  • Classified as FTA
  • Proposed penalties: $50,820,000

Source:  OSHA Fact Sheet on BP 2009 Monitoring

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