OSHA Fines Louisiana Oil Refinery over $200K

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Calumet Lubricants of Cotton Valley, Louisiana, with 45 alleged serious and 13 other-than-serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $207,500. OSHA investigators said conditions at the refinery exposed workers to potential fires, explosions and other hazards.

Calumet and its subsidiaries employ about 600 workers at six refineries across northwest Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois. The serious violations include:

·         Failing to conduct adequate inspections and testing of piping and pressure vessels

·         Failing to ensure that employees were provided adequate protection in the event of an  explosion

·         Failure to implement written operating procedures

·         Failure to resolve recommended actions resulting from compliance audits

·         Failure to provide an adequate confined space program

The other-than-serious violations included failing to correct electrical hazards. OSHA cited Calumet and its subsidiaries in 2004, 2007 and 2010 for similar safety violations totaling $8,500, $122,400 and $173,000, respectively.

Calumet has 15 days to comply with or contest the citations. A Calumet spokesperson said it plans to contest the OSHA findings at the Cotton Valley refinery.

If you think your employer is violating established industry safety standards, you have a right to freedom from retaliation for reporting the violations. Contact a New Orleans injury lawyer for your right to a safe workplace. A New Orleans injury attorney can analyze your situation and inform you of your options.