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ExxonMobil fined for exposing workers to possible fires and explosions

15 September 2011

ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Co. in Baton Rouge has been accused of 22 violations – 20 serious and two other-than-serious – for exposing workers to possible fires and explosions, amongst other hazards. Proposed penalties total $126,600 following an inspection by OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office at the company's petroleum refinery on Scenic Highway.

ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Co. in Baton Rouge
ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Co. in Baton Rouge

"This company exposed its workers to serious safety and health hazards by failing to comply with OSHA's process safety management regulations," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's Area Director in Baton Rouge. "It is fortunate that in this case no-one was injured."

The serious violations involve failing to investigate incidents as being related to process safety management, equipment repair, address inconsistent thickness measurements collected during pressure vessel inspections, maintain accurate and updated engineering drawings, and ensure that written operating procedures were certified as being current and accurate. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations involve failing to ensure that a plate protecting electrical components remained affixed to its housing and deficiencies identified in the emergency action plan. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Co. is a division of Exxon Mobil Corp. The Baton Rouge refinery employs about 2,100 workers and specialises in the production of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, aviation fuel, lubricating oils and waxes. The company has 15 business days from receipt of these citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Area Director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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