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OSHA deleted serious citations in Washington State

OSHA deleted serious citations in Washington State
The Testator Anacondas refinery in Washington State was inspected by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, Division of Occupational Safety And Health or DOSH in 2008. According to the inspection made, they have found serious safety problems in the industry. However, the agency has deleted 14 of the 17 serious citations after a settlement agreement. The penalty was lowered to $12,250 from $85,700.

The whole incident started after there was a massive explosion that rocked the refinery in April 2nd killing 5 employees and critically injuring 2 more. The citation should have set as a warning to the problematic system at the refinery. However, it seems Tesoro and Washington State DOSH did not take the matter that seriously and the needed actions to prevent the catastrophic incident was scarp out.

It is a known fact that the agency has a reputation of negotiating away citations in the past in refinery disaster. A much likely case would be the fire at Equilibration refinery in 1998 where six workers were killed and the agency dropped the intentional violations and issued only two unclassified citations.

Looking at these incidents, some questions do arise whether the settlement agreement that reduced the citations would benefit the worker safety on a long run or does it serve to lower the legal liability for organizations while allowing OSHA for more easily cast-out inspections.

The organizations or employers are responsible for providing safety and healthy working environment for the workers. If you want to avoid any penalty or fine by OSHA then, the OSHA safety training programs will be very helpful. There are many sites today offering authentic OSHA compliance training courses online.