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OSHA imposes fines of $111,000 on Plains Gas for February explosion

03 September 2012

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Plains Gas Solutions LLC in Eunice, Louisiana, following a February explosion and fire that left a worker severely burned. OSHA has issued one willful and seven serious violations against the company, which produces liquid natural gas through a cryogenic process. 

The agency says cryogenic liquids were improperly routed, as part of a re-starting process, through equipment not rated to withstand extreme cold temperatures. That resulted in the explosion and fire.

Plains Gas Solutions is a subsidiary of Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline LP, which employs about 3,800 workers in Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

OSHA has been cracking down on so-called Process Safety Management violations in recent years. Those standards govern processes that involve highly hazardous chemicals.

“Process safety management prevents the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals,” said Dorinda Folse, OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge.

“The terrible incident that occurred at this facility could have been prevented had the company adhered to OSHA’s standards.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to contest the citation or comply.


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