Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Corporate Killers

Corporate Killers:
We all know BP is granted the award so why are they still killing. Maybe we need a 3 strikes and your out law for Corporations. They would have struck out just since the 2005 Explosion, heck they would have had two strikes a few days before the 2005 explosion everyone remembers. These two you may not remember but I do; Raymundo C. Gonzalez Jr. and Leonard Maurice Moore and as a matter of fact I feel anyone who resides around the TX city refinery will remember with the yearly tribute Ray's family places right in front of the refinery.

BP's Tally
3rd worker dies at BP's Texas City refinery since March 23, 2005, 15 killed 3/23/05, 23 killed in the 30 years prior

TOTAL = 41 over 33 years

Worker dies at BP Texas City plant

"A man died from injuries sustained while working at the BP refinery in Texas City Monday afternoon. The victim, whose name has not been released, was first treated by BP Texas City emergency response personnel and transported to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he died. The injury occurred near the refinery's ultracracker process unit around 4 p.m. A press release issued by BP said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified, the accident location has been secured and an investigation has started.'


The Texas City disaster was caused by organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation. Warning signs of a possible disaster were present for several years, but company officials did not intervene effectively to prevent it. The extent of the serious safety culture deficiencies was further revealed when the refinery experienced two additional serious incidents just a few months after the March 2005 disaster. In one, a pipe failure caused a reported $30 million in damage; the other resulted in a $2 million property loss. In each incident, community shelter-in-place orders were issued.

Simply targeting the mistakes of BP’s operators and supervisors misses the underlying and significant cultural, human factors, and organizational causes of the disaster that have a greater preventative impact. One underlying cause was that BP used inadequate methods to measure safety conditions at Texas City. For instance, a very low personal injury rate at Texas City gave BP a misleading indicatorprocess safety performance. In addition, while most attention was focused on the injury rate, the overallsafety culture and process safety management (PSM) program had serious deficiencies. Despite numerous previous fatalities at the Texas City refinery (23 deaths in the 30 years prior to the 2005

A “willful” violation is defined as an "act done voluntarily with either an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the Act's requirements." Conie Construction, Inc. v. Reich, 73 F.3d 382, 384 (D.C. Cir. 1995). An “egregious” violation, also know as a “violation-by-violation” penalty procedure, is one where penalties are applied to each instance of a violation without grouping or combining them.

The settlement agreement between OSHA and BP from the ISOM incident and other investigations did require BP to retain a PSM expert to conduct comprehensive audits at the Texas City refinery to assess the “robustness of the PSM systems.” United States of America Occupational Safety and Health Administration, BP Products North America Inc. Settlement Agreement, September 21, 2005.

BP did not take effective steps to stem the grow a catastrophic event. Cost-cutting and failure to invest in the 1990s by Amoco and then BP left the Texas City refinery vulnerable to a catastrophe. BP targeted budget cuts of 25 percent in 1999 and another 25 percent in 2005, even though much of the refinery’s infrastructure and process equipment were in disrepair. Also, operator training and staffing were downsized.

OSHA enforcement at the BP Texas City refinery was also examined. In the years prior to the incident OSHA conducted several inspections, primarily in respose to fatalities at the refinery, but did not identify the likelihood for a catastrophic incident, nor did OSHA prioritize planned inspections of the refinery to enforce process safety regulations, despite warning signs. After this incident OSHA uncovered 301 egregious willful violations for which BP paid a $21 million fine, the largest ever issued by OSHA in its 35-year history. Prior to OSHA issuing citations, the refinery had two additional serious incidents. Despite the large number of major violations on the ISOM unit, and these two additional serious incidents in 2005, OSHA did not conduct a comprehensive inspection of any of the other 29 process units at the Texas City refinery.
OSHA’s national focus on inspecting facilities with high personnel injury rates, while important, has resulted in reduced attention to preventing less frequent, but catastrophic, process safety incidents such as the one at Texas City. OSHA’s capability to inspect highly hazardous facilities and to enforce process safety regulations is insufficient; very few comprehensive process safety inspections were conducted prior the ISOM incident and only a limited number of OSHA inspectors have the specialized training and experience needed to perform these complex examinations

As a result of this investigation, the CSB makes recommendations to the following recipients:
  • BP Group Executive Board of Directors
  • BP Texas City Refinery
  • U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • United Steelworkers International Union and Steelworkers Local 13-1
  • Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS)
When is enough enough? Shouldn't one be enough to get BP's attention or even the governments? What about you are you willing to let companies get away with it? Will you if it is your family member? And if i hear one more time at least their taken care of I will scream...workers comp gave my brothers case a big fat $0.00 and why does it seem that people feel money makes it up. Would you sell a family member into slavery? Neither would the families who had a loss.

We can do it if we stick together we can change the way things are handled, they way families are treated and the way employees are treated. We can't allow others to separate us by gender, race, employment, organization, residing state and individual cause.

Our goal and intent has to be pure. Whether we have lost a loved on in the oil fields or stuck by a car we have all had the same experiences, the same loss. We need to focus on the greater good, what will keep our children and grandchildren safe! If we work on the over all good it trickles down, it reaches everyone not just a small group. Although we all have a special interest in an area we have most been effected by we have to be their for each other. Who could possibly understand us better and who better to understand the inner works than those with a loss and those who have worked with us?

It really doesn't take much: a letter, a call, a story or contact us. There will be a point when we really need to push an issue and you can help. We need families in every state it is very important to get through to your officials. Don't set back and wait for it to happen nothing just falls in your lap. We all have it in us, the only difference is some act and some do not.

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