26 May 2005 21:07 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--The United Steelworkers (USW) union said Thursday BP should stop playing “word games” regarding the investigation of the deadly 23 March refinery explosion in ?xml:namespace>
USW president Leo Gerard responded to news reports that BP had backed off statements that the root causes of the blast were the failures of workers to follow procedures and lax supervisors.
“We hope the company focuses on its obligation to provide a safe workplace and stops making employees and supervisors scapegoats for this terrible incident,” Gerard said. The BP refinery blast killed 15 contract workers and injured 170.
BP spokesman Hugh Depland said BP Products North America president Ross Pillari used the “wrong words” when he said BP’s investigation report described the “root causes” of the accident. Instead, the report lists “provisional critical factors” that led to the blast, Depland said.
However, Depland said BP stands by its interim investigation report, which cites a series of personnel failures at the Texas City refinery.
USW Region Six Director
Beevers said the USW has retained the services of chemical process safety expert Isadore (Irv) Rosenthal to help the union shape its own investigation of the blast and advise the union on how the incident relates to safety in the overall petrochemical industry.
Rosenthal is a senior research fellow at the Wharton Risk Management and
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