REMARKS OF JORDAN BARAB
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR THE
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
BP Press Call
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Thank you, Secretary Solis.
Let me begin by stressing the importance OSHA attached to correction of the hazards identified in 2009 monitoring inspection throughout these negotiations. As part of this agreement, BP has agreed to address the hazards identified using the proven mechanisms put into place in accordance with the 2010 FTA agreement. This will help ensure timely evaluation and permanent correction of the hazards cited, many of which have already been abated.
OSHA's Process Safety Management standard, 1910.119, requires employers processing highly hazardous materials to implement comprehensive management systems to ensure that their processes are installed, operated, and maintained to prevent catastrophic releases, such as occurred at the Texas City Refinery in March, 2005.
Under today's agreement, all violations covered in this settlement have been or will be addressed by December 31, 2012 using the procedures established under the 2010 agreement.
To briefly summarize, of the 439 October 2009 willful Process Safety Management citations issued,
- 57 remain as willful citations;
- 61 original willful citations are grouped as 34 repeat citations;
- 31 are classified as serious citations; and
- 150 willful citations were grouped as 92 unclassified citations;
- Furthermore, 110 citations were withdrawn by OSHA and 30 unresolved citations were grouped as 22 unresolved citations and remain under contest. These will be litigated or settled in the future.
- Finally, BP has agreed to pay a total penalty of $13,027,000 to settle these citations.
The 110 citations were withdrawn because BP provided additional documentation after the citations were issued documenting that some of the equipment originally cited were either not covered by the PSM standard, were out of service at the time of the inspection or met the applicable Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP) requirements. BP's documentation was reviewed and verified by OSHA and independent third party experts. Similarly, the reclassification of many of the original citations was based on additional information provided by BP and subsequently confirmed by OSHA.
The 30 unresolved violations, which were grouped in the settlement as 22 citations, address BP's failure to install certain pressure relief valves in accordance with RAGAGEP. These citations will continue to be negotiated or litigated. RAGAGEP is a safety concept in OSHA's Process Safety Management Standard which requires employers to design, operate, and maintain Process Safety Management covered facilities using good engineering practices accepted by their industry.
OSHA, through the Houston South Area Office, has closely monitored BP's progress in complying with the 2010 FTA agreement. We intend to maintain the same level of vigilance in monitoring compliance with this agreement.
Again, we are pleased that OSHA and BP have been able to reach agreement on the vast majority of the citations in this case. And now, I am available to answer any questions you may have.