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BP Cherry Point refinery cited for willful and serious workplace safety violations, fined $81,500

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August 30, 2012

TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has cited the BP Cherry Point petroleum refinery in Blaine for six violations, including one “willful violation,” of workplace safety and health rules related to management of pipeline and refinery processes. The proposed penalties total $81,500.

A willful violation is the most significant civil classification that can be issued. It is used when L&I alleges that the violation was committed with intentional disregard or plain indifference or substitution of judgment with respect to worker safety and health regulations.

L&I began the inspection in February after a major fire caused the refinery to shut down for a period of time. One employee was nearby when the fire erupted, but he was able to escape without harm.

The fire occurred when a corroded “deadleg” pipe ruptured. Deadlegs are pipes that aren’t often used but still must be monitored for integrity for when they are needed to carry material used in the refining process.

L&I cited the company for a “willful” violation for not ensuring that inspection and testing procedures for process piping followed recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices for all deadleg piping circuits. The proposed penalty for the willful violation is $65,000.

The five additional violations cited were for failing to comply with Process Safety Management standards, the requirements for managing hazards associated with processes that use highly hazardous chemicals.

The company has until Sept. 13 to appeal the citation.
 
A copy of the citation is available upon request.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413.

Connect with L&I: Facebook (facebook.com/laborandindustries) and Twitter (twitter.com/lniwa).

 

Broadcast version:
The Department of Labor and Industries has cited the BP Cherry Point refinery in Blaine for six violations, including one “willful” violation, of workplace safety and health rules related to pipeline and refinery processes. The proposed penalties total $81,500. L&I began the inspection in February after a major fire caused the refinery to shut down for a period of time. One employee was nearby but escaped without harm. The fire occurred when a corroded pipe that had not been appropriately monitored ruptured. The company has until Sept. 13 to appeal. For more information, visit News dot LNI dot wa dot gov (News.Lni.wa.gov).

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