Philadelphia Energy Solutions has been fined $132,600 by OSHA for serious safety and health hazard violations following a fire & explosions that led to the refinery’s closure and bankruptcy.
The fire and subsequent explosions on June 21, 2019 released 5,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid however no one was seriously injured. Following the incident PES shut down the Girard Point Refinery Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and declared bankruptcy.
The US Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that its inspection found deficiencies in the refinery’s process safety management programme, including failing to establish or implement written procedures, insufficient hazard analysis and inadequate inspection of process equipment for highly hazardous chemicals used in the process.
Theresa Downs, OSHA Philadelphia area director, says: ‘When employers fail to evaluate and address potential hazardous conditions associated with chemical processes, catastrophic events such as this can occur. OSHA’s process safety management standard requires that employers conduct regular inspections to ensure process equipment meets industry standards.’
PES has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.