OSHA Fines Calumet $173K


OSHA has cited Calumet Shreveport Lubricants & Waxes LLC for 22 alleged workplace safety violations at its Shreveport, La., refinery, with proposed fines adding up to $173,000.

The federal agencys Baton Rouge Area Office began its inspection Feb. 23 at the Shreveport facility as part of OSHAs Petroleum refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program. Calumet has until Sept. 7 to comply, request an informal conference or contest the citations and proposed penalty that were issued Aug. 19.

Violations that OSHA deemed serious included failing to provide accurate process safety information for piping and instrumentation diagrams, to conduct incident investigations, to provide written operating procedures, to resolve recommended actions resulting from compliance audits, and to adequately address the siting of control rooms and employees working in process units. Two repeat violations included failing to update process safety information when changes occur and to act on findings of potential overpressures for occupied structures stemming from process hazard analyses from 1998 to 2009.

Calumet Shreveport plant manager Tom Germany described OSHAs investigation as very thorough. One of their biggest concerns is the physical location of a couple of existing facilities, our control room and lab, but their findings ran the gamut and included everything from a missing warning label on a can of pump oil to the incorrect use of a powerstrip electrical plug, Germany stated. Calumet sees OSHA as a partner in protecting the health and safety of our employees. We plan on meeting with them in the next several weeks to present information on how we have been addressing their findings. In the meantime, we will continue our ongoing efforts to be a safe and compliant facility.

Calumet Shreveport spokeswoman Liz Swaine noted the company will speak to OSHA about relocating the refinerys control room, considered a complicated undertaking.

Were going to talk to OSHA about allowing us more time to get that project done, she told Lube Report. Swaine explained that under a new American Petroleum Institute standard, refinery control rooms must be either hardened to withstand an explosion or moved. We hired a company to conduct a blast study on our control room and got their report in December of 2009, she noted. Calumet intends to make changes, she continued, but the control room project was too big to complete in the three months between when the report was received and when OSHAs inspections began in February.

According to Calumet, four OSHA regulars recently wrapped up four months at the Shreveport facility. They were given offices inside the plant and open access to all information, records, and employees, according to the company, and plant officials worked closely with investigators providing whatever was asked.

“The investigators complimented us on the strides made at the facility over the past two years,” said Calumets Germany. “They saw for themselves how much money and emphasis has been placed on safety and compliance. We have come a long way in two years but we plan to do even more.”

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