BP’s safety procedures at their refineries are under the spotlight once again. A fire at the Cherry Point refinery in Washington State, USA, has focussed attention on BP’s spotty safety record. Currently union workers are in the midst of preliminary contract talks and the focus is on safety.
The fire broke out Friday afternoon and quick action by fire fighters had it out within two hours. Pinpointing the cause of the fire is at its preliminary stages, but attention has been given to a leaky pipe.
"The refinery received 12 citations in 2010 from the state's worker safety regulator, the Department of Labor & Industries, for serious violations in the safe management of processes involving highly hazardous chemicals at the hydrocracking unit.
BP did not appeal the 2010 citations, corrected the problems and paid $69,200 in fines, the department said in a press release at the time." Reuters
BP holds the dubious record of worst US refinery accident when the Texas City refinery fire claimed 15 dead and 170 injured.
In this latest accident, there were no deaths and only one hospitalization.
In the follow up investigations of BP’s safety record after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, ABC News has uncovered many safety violations by BP, far more that other petroleum companies operating in North America. In their May 27, 2010 article ABC News stated:
“BP's safety violations far outstrip its fellow oil companies. According to the Center for Public Integrity, in the last three years, BP refineries in Ohio and Texas have accounted for 97 percent of the "egregious, willful" violations handed out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).” ABC News
It leaves the by-stander wondering if it is simply the cost of doing business to sacrifice the lives and health of its workers as well as fouling the environment .
Currently BP is fighting its investors over the damage and losses resulting from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Led by Ohio and New York pension plans, the investors claim that BP exaggerated their capabilities and when the oil blowout occurred, downplayed the seriousness of the incident to protect stock prices.
The oil blowout and resulting fire claimed 11 men’s lives. The resulting months long uncontrolled oil spill fouled wetlands, the ocean and has compromised the health of many local residents.
In turn BP is accusing Halliburton of destroying evidence that would have revealed possible safety flaws in the quality of the cement slurry destined to fail when the well blowout occurred.