Gas releases lead to $707,000 in fines for Sinclair Refinery
Wyoming OSHA investigates follows worker complaint
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration division (OSHA) within the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) has cited the Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company with $707,000 in fines for 22 violations found at the company’s Sinclair, Wyoming refinery operation.
The violations are the result of a May 2013 OSHA inspection which stemmed from an employee complaint and several gas releases that Sinclair voluntarily reported to DWS OSHA in May of 2013. Monetary penalties go entirely to the local school district where the violation occurred.
Wyoming OSGHA’s inspectors found that Sinclair failed to:
- meet Process Safety Management standards or develop operating procedures in relation to the Aggressive Biological Treatment Unit (ABTU) charge pit and the Alkylation Unit
- inform contract employees of the known potential toxic release hazards related to work activities in these and other units
Out of service eyewash
Willful violations were cited for the following conditions found during the inspection:
- insufficient or no processes and no corrective action available or taken for a documented history of Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfur Dioxide releases
- inadequate or no training provided for operating procedures associated with processes and the hazards associated with the operation of the facility; and
- an emergency eyewash safety shower out of service despite three previous sets of citations for this violation
Repeat Serious Violations
The state inspectors also found serious hazards that the company had been cited for seriously – and were still unabated. These include:
- an operating procedure for the Alkylation Unit that failed to address the hazards presented by the chemicals used in its processes
- failure to make known precautions necessary to prevent exposure including the use of personal protective equipment, and
- failure to label numerous chemical containers to identify contents
Previous citations issued by Wyoming OSHA can be found at the federal OSHA website.