The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that BP is responsible for exposing its workers to a variety of hazards at its refinery in Ohio and is proposing penalties of more than $3m (£2m).
’OSHA has found that BP often ignored or severely delayed fixing known hazards in its refineries,’ said US Department of Labor secretary Hilda L Solis. ’There is no excuse for taking chances with people’s lives. BP must fix the hazards now.’
The OSHA began its inspection at the BP refinery located near Toledo, Ohio, in September 2009. The inspection revealed that workers were exposed to serious injury and death in the event of a release of flammable and explosive materials because of numerous violations of OSHA’s process safety management standard.
The organisation added that there were numerous failures to provide adequate pressure relief for process units as well as failures to provide safeguards to prevent the hazardous accumulation of fuel in process heaters.
It also said that in the event of a fire, the workforce could have suffered injury and death from the collapse of nine buildings in the refinery.
BP North America operates and jointly owns the refinery with Canadian-based Husky Energy.