BP says safety No. 1 after OSHA settlement

July 13, 2012 at 9:43 AM
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HOUSTON, July 13 (UPI) -- BP expressed its commitment to workplace safety after agreeing to pay more than $13 million to settle claims tied to a Texas refinery explosion in 2005.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it resolved with BP more than 400 citations issued in relationship to a 2005 explosion at a Texas oil refinery that killed 15 people.

In 2005, OSHA cited BP for $21 million and the oil company agreed to take steps to address the citations. In 2009, OSHA found BP failed to correct a number of items despite making some improvements at the Texas City plant.

David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said the settlement should "send a clear signal" to BP.

BP, in a statement, said it spent more than $1 billion on improvements at the refinery. Iain Conn, head of refining and marketing at the supermajor, said a strong working relationship with OSHA was part of its overall commitment to workplace safety.

"We respect OSHA and have worked to address their concerns in this latest agreement," he stated.

BP and OSHA have 30 citations yet to resolve.

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