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BP cited after workers fatally burned at Ohio refinery


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Thursday announced it has cited BP Products North America Inc. after investigators determined the oil company failed to adequately train its workforce after two employees suffered fatal burns.

The Houston-based company, a subsidiary of BP of the United Kingdom, was cited for 10 serious violations and one other-than-serious violation in connection with the September 2022 deaths of two workers at an Oregon, Ohio, refinery.

The workers were attempting to correct rising liquid levels in a fuel gas mix drum when a flammable vapor cloud ignited and caused an explosion.

OSHA said that company training deficiencies and other safety failures led to the fatalities.

Inspectors also found that naphtha, a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture, was released when flow control valves were opened during the incident, which allowed the flammable liquid to get inside of the refinery’s fuel gas system.

The company is accused of failing to implement proper equipment shutdown procedures when requested to do so by the operators who responded to the incident.

OSHA said that BP failed to adhere to federal safety standards that require it to develop company process safety and response procedures that address “worst-case scenarios.”

BP is facing $156,250 in proposed penalties. It has 15 days to contest the citations.