US Labor Department to fine CITGO for five safety violations

06 September 2012 15:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is citing CITGO Refining and Chemicals for five safety violations at its Corpus Christi facility in Texas and proposes to fine the company a $66,500 (€52,535) penalty, it said on Thursday.

OSHA said that the safety citations are the result of an inspection it conducted at CITGO’s refinery after receiving a complaint that employees had been exposed to a leak of hydrofluoric acid at a flange in an alkylation unit while performing maintenance work.

“This employer did not have proper safeguards in place to protect employees from the release of toxic chemicals,” said Michael Rivera, OSHA’s area director in Corpus Christi.

“By not following OSHA’s standard for process safety management, employees at the facility and the surrounding community were placed in danger,” Rivera added.

CITGO has 15 business days to comply, to request an informal conference with OSHA, or to contest the findings, OSHA said.

A media official at CITGO’s offices in Houston said he could not immediately comment.

According to OSHA, CITGO employs 550 workers at Corpus Christi. On its website, CITGO states its employment at Corpus Christi as 1,055.

The Corpus Christi refinery’s processing capacity is 165,000 bbl/day, according to the company.

($1 = €0.79)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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