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OSHA cites Texas oil refinery for 30 safety violations following two fatalities (5/20)

May 20, 2009
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"OSHA's Process Safety Management standard contains specific requirements that are essential to the safety and health of workers in the petroleum refining industry, and it is crucial that employers follow these safety and health requirements," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "If Delek had followed OSHA's standards, it is possible this tragic accident could have been avoided."

OSHA's Dallas Area Office began its investigation Nov. 20 at the company's facility on East Commerce Street in Tyler. Flammable vapors were ignited after a Naphtha (flammable liquid) discharge line ruptured at the saturated-gas unit, killing two workers and injuring three others. The investigation found a willful violation for failing to adequately maintain and repair processing equipment. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Serious citations were issued for violations of OSHA's Process Safety Management involving electrical, asbestos, benzene and portable fire extinguisher standards. Serious citations are issued when death or serious injury could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Delek Refining, which employs about 270 workers in Tyler, is a high conversion, independent refinery with a design crude distillation capacity of about 60,000 barrels per day.

Proposed penalties total $217,350.

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