Great Falls Refinery Hit with OSHA Fine

Fri, 08/09/2013 - 9:53am

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Labor is fining a petroleum refinery in Great Falls for unsafe working conditions.

The agency's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday it is proposing a $77,000 fine for Calumet Montana Refining.

OSHA area director Jeff Funke of Billings says the company modified high-voltage electrical equipment to keep the asphalt mill operating despite safety concerns. Funke says it is unacceptable to place production above safety.

OSHAsays an arc explosion occurred at the mill in February. Inspectors said a switch was blocked with insulating material, rendering a protector circuit inoperable.

The company has 15 days to comply or contest the charge or fine.

Calumet did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


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