Penalties proposed in terminal fatality
Jul 22, 2005 11:38 AM
MFA Oil Co, Columbia MO, faces $135,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a transport driver died in a fire and explosion at the company's Marshall MO bulk storage plant January 7, 2005, according to OSHA information.
The driver was off-loading unleaded gasoline into a 12,000 gallon above-ground storage tank when the tank ruptured, causing a loss of contents with subsequent fire and explosion.
The driver suffered burns over 90 percent of his body, according to the OSHA information.
The citations and proposed fines follow OSHA inspection of the incident and cites MFA for alleged two willful and two serious violations of safety standards.
One willful citation alleged the company exposed workers to hazards by not having the tank vehicle off-loading area separated from above-ground storage tanks that contained flammable liquids.
The second willful violation concerned failure to conduct inspections and maintenance of the tank pressure vent/overfill alarm and emergency vent.
Inspections of the pressure vent/overfill alarm and emergency vent are required to ensure they are unobstructed and operational during loading/off-loading operations, and especially during freezing weather conditions due to icing.
Obstruction of pressure vents can lead to tank structural damage, resulting in product spill, personal injury, property damage, fire and explosion, according to the OSHA information.
Use of valves and fittings constructed of low melting materials without protection from fire exposure and lack of an emergency response plan comprise the alleged violations for which OSHA issued the citations.
MFA Oil Company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, according to the information.
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