May 8 catastrophe still under OSHA investigation
CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Salt Lake City-based Sinclair Oil for 11 serious, and one non-serious violation at the Sinclair Refinery in Sinclair, Wyoming. An OSHA inspection following the May 25, 2012 fire which caused the injuries of two Sinclair employees resulted in proposed penalties totaling $60,250.
The investigation into the May 8, 2012 catastrophe, in which three Sinclair employees were critically injured, is still ongoing due to its complexity. Several other incidents are also under investigation.
“The OSHA investigation found hazards present that may have contributed to this serious incident,” said Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Joan Evans. “All employers have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Unfortunately, the OSHA investigation found Sinclair did not live up to its critical obligation.”
Serious citations were issued for failure to develop and implement safe work practices, lack of employee training and operating procedures, failure to inspect equipment and correct deficiencies, inadequate first aid supplies and for other violations.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The Department of Workforce Services has required Sinclair to bring in external independent safety auditors and has requested Sinclair management meet with Wyoming OSHA every two weeks for updates on its progress. DWS also brought in a federal OSHA assistance team who are conducting a review of the facility and its safety management processes.
All citations issued by Wyoming OSHA can be found at the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA website.
Sinclair Oil has 15 days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Commission.
To obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call 307-777-7786.