BP (Beyond Petroleum laf!) has been fined a record $87m (£53m) for failing to correct safety hazards at its Texas City refinery in the U.S. The $87m fine is the largest in OSHA’s history. An explosion in 2005 at the Texas plant killed 15 people and injured 180 more. The safety violations found "could lead to another catastrophe", US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said.
In 2005, BP paid a $21.3m fine to OSHA and entered into a four-year agreement to repair hazards at the Texas City refinery, which is the third largest in the US. The latest fine follows a six-month inspection into whether BP had complied with that agreement.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited 270 violations at the oil refinery, a U.S. Labor Department official said. BP said it believed it was in “full compliance” with a 2005 settlement agreement with OSHA and would work with the agency to resolve the issue. The firm will now have 15 days to either agree to pay the fine and take corrective action, or to contest the penalty through a hearing process.
OSHA said the company had committed hundreds of new violations by failing to follow industry controls on pressure relief safety systems and other precautions. BP said in a statement: "While we strongly disagree with [OSHA's] conclusions, we will continue to work with the agency to resolve our differences."