Safety and OSHA News

OSHA urged to place special restrictions on BP

While BP still works on cutting off the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico for good, another safety matter waits in the wings for the company: settling citations issued by OSHA for two of its refineries.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) have called on OSHA to demand stricter safety requirements in its negotiations with BP regarding $90 million in fines.

In a letter to OSHA, the senators ask the agency to require BP to:

  • report any process safety incident that occurs at a site under its control, regardless of the number of workers injured or killed. Currently, companies must report incidents to OSHA only if one or more workers are killed or three or more are sent to hospitals.
  • record all injuries and illnesses of workers at sites under its control, regardless of whether they are employed by BP or by a contractor. Companies don’t have to report contractor injuries or deaths unless they directly control the employee’s work.

All 15 workers who died in an explosion at BP’s Texas City, TX, refinery in 2005 were contractors.

BP faces $90 million in fines for 862 safety violations after a follow-up inspection at the Texas City refinery and another inspection at a BP refinery near Toledo, Ohio.

When a safety incident causes deaths or serious injuries, should OSHA be able to impose tough new requirements on the company? Let us know what you think by leaving a reply below.

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