OSHA proposes $259,000 penalty in Motiva storage tank explosion
Jan 17, 2002 12:00 PM
The death of one worker and the injuries suffered by six others in a July 2001 aboveground storage tank explosion at Motiva Enterprises LLC oil refinery, Delaware City, Delaware, has led to proposed penalties of $259,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The company allegedly failed to inspect, repair, and provide proper covers for tanks at the oil refinery, which employs more than 660 workers, according to OSHA.
The explosion occurred while workers were welding and cutting metal above Tank 393 used to store sulfuric acid. The workers were employed by Washington Group International Inc, Cleveland, Ohio, a subcontractor performing maintenance work at the site, according to OSHA.
Motiva was cited for three alleged willful violations, with a proposed penalty of $210,000; and seven serious violations, with a penalty of $49,000.
"Motiva failed to internally inspect Tank 393 in a timely manner despite its knowledge that the tank was long overdue for inspection, had a history of leaks, and showed signs of deterioration," said Richard D Soltan, OSHA regional administrator in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Washington Group International Inc was also cited for two serious violations, with proposed penalties totaling $14,000, according to OSHA.
Both companies have 15 working days from the receipt of the citations to decide to comply, to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The investigation was conducted by the Wilmington OSHA office, Caleb Boggs Federal Building, 844 N King Street, Room 2209, Wilmington, Delaware 19801-3319, phone (302) 573-6518.