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OSHA Issues Record $87M Fine To BP

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 5:26am

SAM HANANEL Associated Press Writer — October 30, 3009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a record $87 million fine against oil giant BP PLC for failing to correct safety hazards after a 2005 explosion killed 15 people at its Texas City refinery.

The fine — the largest in OSHA's history — comes after a 6-month inspection revealed hundreds of violations of a 2005 agreement to repair hazards at the refinery.

OSHA also said the company committed hundreds of new violations by failing to follow industry controls on pressure relief safety systems and other precautions.

BP said it believed it was in "full compliance" with the settlement agreement and will work with government officials to resolve the issue.

"We are disappointed that OSHA took this action in advance of the full consideration of the Review Commission," the London-based company said in an emailed statement, referring to an ongoing separate inquiry by a body separate to OSHA.

"While we strongly disagree with their conclusions, we will continue to work with the agency to resolve our differences," the company added.

BP said its efforts to improve process safety performance "have been among the most strenuous and comprehensive that the refining industry has ever seen."

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