Importance of OSHA Compliance in Oil Refineries
Oil refineries in Texas and across the country are governed by Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) operating standards. OSHA regulations
exist to ensure that every employer provides its employees with a workplace
free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or
serious injury. Claiming a lack of awareness is not acceptable; employers
are required to continually assess their workplaces to determine if hazards
are present and take appropriate actions to protect employees if any problems
are uncovered. Understanding specific sections of OSHA regulations will
help injured refinery workers understand the best way to handle their claims.
Inspection, Testing & Preventative Maintenance
Since refineries are 24-hour operations, equipment is placed under greater
strain and needs to be inspected, maintained, and repaired with greater
frequency than other industrial machines. Assuring the mechanical integrity
of refinery equipment is important, not only for production purposes,
but also to prevent injury to workers. It is particularly important to
maintain critical equipment like pressure vessels, piping, furnaces, and
boiler tubes since failures in these locations can result in catastrophic
incidents. If a tragic accident does occur, examining written inspection
and maintenance policies can help identify whether employer negligence
contributed to dangerous equipment failure.
Process Safety Information Compliance
Process safety information (PSI) compliance dictates that all employers
complete a comprehensive written analysis of the potential hazards involved
in operating processes that occur within the refinery. An effective PSI
should include information about the toxicity of chemicals involved in
operations, permissible exposure rates, chemical interactivity, and other
potential hazards. It is essential for an effective PSI program to have
complete and accurate information available, to serve both as a guide
to employees and as a first resource for corrective action should an accident occur.
When an accident does occur, examining a refinery's written process
safety information can help determine whether the employer was in compliance
with OSHA safety standards. The law states that employers must consult
with employees when developing and implementing process safety management
programs and hazard assessments. It also requires that employers train
and educate employees on findings from incident investigations by the program.
Get a Free Consultation with Our Refinery Accident Attorneys
When refineries do not follow proper maintenance and other safety procedures,
or do not properly educate employees about the policies in place, they
put everyone in proximity of the refinery at risk. If employees are not
made aware of safety procedures, their ability to respond to a potentially
dangerous situation will be severely hampered.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a refinery accident, it is crucial
to consult with an experienced industrial accident attorney. At Arnold
& Itkin, our attorneys are familiar with OSHA safety rules and can
quickly identify situations in which accidents were likely caused by an
employers' negligence or non-compliance. When an accident occurs,
the injured employee should be able to focus on his or her recovery, not
on attempting to uncover an employer's unsafe operating practices.
When you consult with our experienced attorneys, we do all the work, so
you can focus on getting better.