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Wyoming OSHA Fines Sinclair Oil for Safety Violations

Sinclair Refinery (Courtesy of k2 radio-Casper)

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Salt Lake City-based Sinclair Oil for 11 violations at its Sinclair Refinery in Sinclair, Wyoming. An OSHA inspection following the May 8, 2012 flash fire which caused injury to four Sinclair employees. Three of those workers suffered serious injuries, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $155,000.

OSHA issued three repeat serious citations for violations that were previously cited at Sinclair’s Casper Refinery. The repeat serious citations were issued for the employer’s failure to ensure instrumentation had proper hazard detection hardware, lack of proper employee training and failure to ensure employees had an adequate amount of time or protection to complete all steps needed for the process associated with ventilation of chemicals to atmosphere. Other serious violations included the failure to develop and implement safe work practices, among other violations.

The OSHA investigation following the May 8 incident found hazards that likely factored into the catastrophe. Following the series of incidents at Sinclair Refinery, Wyoming OSHA is requiring Sinclair to bring in external independent safety contractors to perform audits and investigations. OSHA has required a meeting with Sinclair management every two weeks to discuss progress on health and safety management. Wyoming OSHA also has brought in a federal OSHA technical assistance team to assist in a review of the refinery.

More specifically, OSHA has required Sinclair to bring in external independent safety contractors to perform audits and investigations and develop a start up procedure for the refinery during the turn around processes for each unit. The OSHA division has required Sinclair management to meet with Wyoming OSHA every two weeks for updates on its progress. DWS brought in a federal OSHA assistance team who assisted in a review of the facility and its safety management processes.

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