Today's News / Compliance / Facility Safety

Wyoming's Sinclair refinery zinged for $259,950 in fines

Sinclair OilWyoming’s most-fined refinery for safety violations is facing another round of penalties, this time stemming from a formal complaint and three August incidents at the facility, according to a report in the Casper Star-Tribune.

The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a $259,950 fine against the Sinclair Oil-owned Sinclair Wyoming Refinery. The fine would be the largest levied against a refinery in Wyoming in the past five years.

Combined with a proposed $215,000 in total fines following two fires in 2012, the Sinclair Oil refinery has been hit with nearly half a million dollars in proposed fines in two years.

Six-figure fines are unusual for state OSHA plan enforcement programs.

The most recent violations include repeat violations for failure to ensure proper employee training and a lack of up-to-date diagrams for some piping at the facility. New violations include failure to ensure all equipment was built to design specifications, failure to cover open floor holes and lack of a fire extinguisher at an assigned location.

The repeat violations account for $165,000 of the proposed penalties.

According to a statement from Sinclair, the company plans to meet with Wyoming OSHA, a division of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, to discuss the fines.

“Sinclair takes these citations seriously and is working with great urgency to make refinery-wide safety enhancements,” said Sinclair in an emailed statement.

The refinery has received more citations and fines than any other in the state in the past five years, according to a Star-Tribune analysis of federal OSHA data.

The company references three August incidents in the same release but does not specify what happened. Representatives of the company confirmed two different fires and an emergency shutdown procedure that month, according to Star-Tribune reports. No one was injured in any of the events.

OSHA staff found a total of 48 violations items at an inspection the following month that triggered this round of citations. Inspectors deemed 37 violations serious and six as repeat violations.

The latest fines proposed by OSHA are part of a series of mishaps and fine-heavy inspections at the Sinclair refinery. Two fires in May 2012 that burned six employees — three severely — led to two OSHA inspections which earned the facility roughly $215,000 in proposed fines.

The fines are considered informal until Sinclair responds. The company has 15 days upon receipt of the violations to appeal or request a conference with OSHA. Fines and violations could be reduced if the company responds.

Sinclair and OSHA have each been working in recent months to make Wyoming refineries safer. Sinclair and other refiners in the state have banded together to form the Wyoming Refinery Safety Alliance, a private-public partnership which is regularly assisted by OSHA. The company has also reassigned a vice president to work specifically in safety and has created and planned several new safety-oriented positions.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

4/21/15 2:00 pm EDT

The Safety Selfie: It’s time to take a “snap shot” of your safety program and contemplate what others see

We all know perception is reality and that people perceive things differently. As a safety manager, your perception of your safety program almost certainly differs from that of your workers and your managers. We will use our “Safety Selfies” to expose weaknesses, real and perceived, and to talk about how best to make improvements.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN0415_cover.jpg

2015 April

Check out ISHN's April issue, which features content about lockout-tagout, heat stress, hearing protection and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015

FDO JAN 2015 COVER

 

For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 

CHECK OUT THE JANUARY 2015 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.