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Passionate, Proud Advocates

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OSHA cites Oklahoma refinery for repeat safety violations

Although it may not be the state’s primary export, Oklahoma does have an oil refinery. Unfortunately, one of the state’s oil refineries, Holly Refining & Marketing-Tulsa LLC, has recently drawn the scrutiny of officials from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

According to OSHA officials, the refinery has exposed its workers to unsafe or even hazardous workplace conditions. Some of the allegations include workers’ exposure to hot equipment surfaces, lack of safety guards for workers at high elevations, unsafe electrical equipment and wiring, and floor grating that was not level or secure.

To make matters worse, OSHA officials have accused the refinery of repeat violations. A follow-up inspection resulted in many of the same findings. As readers might expect, a repeat violation can result in greater fines. In this instance, the five repeat citations resulted in a $170,500.00 penalty.

Unfortunately, this story illustrates that an employer may sometimes be negligent in implementing OSHA-mandated workplace safety regulations — even after receiving citations. There is simply no excuse for such repeat violations. The stiff penalty imposed by OSHA officials may induce the employer to change its ways, but that may be small consolation to those employees who were already injured. For them, an attorney that focuses on workers’ compensation law might be a better resource.

An attorney can work to ensure that injured workers have been fully compensated for their injuries and the costs of their ensuing medical treatments. If a worker’s claim has been denied or only granted in part, an attorney can also work to obtain a recovery that will fully cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.

Insurance Journal, “OSHA: Safety Violations Continue at Oklahoma Oil Refinery,” Aug. 6, 2014

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