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Senators bring vice President Mr. Flynn in the line of fire

One of BP's top safety officials has strongly defended the company's string of federal safety violations before a group of very skeptical senators. Furthermore, he has vowed to bring about worker protection despite several ongoing disputes over fines at its Texas city refinery. BP's vice president of health and safety, Mr. Steve Flynn has vowed to “work constructively” with OSHA on the 700 plus citations issued last year.

Mr. Flynn's statements about safety failed to mollify members of the Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's employment panel. Instead, several senators asked Mr. Flynn to explain why BP received 760 egregious and willful OSHA violations over the past three years. Moreover, Senator Patty Murray stated that, “Either management isn't being truthful, or BP's culture of safety is nonexistent."

It is also important to note that OSHA records show that the Bush administration also issued per-instance citations in 2006 at BP's refinery in Oregon, Ohio.

Mr. Flynn has spoken a lot as well as defended his approach to safety. Below are a list of a few of his comments regarding safety:

  • He stated that they would attempt to change the safety procedures by changing "the tone at the top".
  • "At the end of the day, we want to achieve the same thing as OSHA”, Flynn said.
Eventually, Mr. Flynn was lost for words when Sen. Jeff Merkley said simply that BP's claims to prioritize safety first are "rather offensive" given its record.