BP has been accused of committing “serious violations” following a deadly explosion at a refinery in the United States.

According to the safety regulator, inadequate operations and training were factors that led to an accident resulting in the death of two workers.

The two who were killed were brothers Ben and Max Morrissey. These Morrisseys were members of the United Steelworkers District One Local 346, according to the Union.

BP has been accused of committing 10 “serious violations” by US authorities after a fatal explosion at an Ohio oil refinery last year. This is the latest in a series of health and safety incidents that have occurred under the British oil company’s supervision. According to an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, operating and training failures at the Toledo refinery contributed to the accident that claimed the lives of two workers in September 2022.

The workers were attempting to correct rising fluid levels when a release of naphtha, a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture, occurred in the refinery’s fuel gas system. The agency has determined that workers were not adequately trained to detect naphtha and that BP did not establish or implement proper shutdown procedures. OSHA has proposed a fine of $156,250.

BP has previously been involved in high-profile accidents in the US. In 2005, an explosion at a Texas refinery killed 15 people and injured 170, which the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board attributed to “safety deficiencies at all levels” of BP. The company agreed to pay a record $50.6mn fine for violations at the Texas refinery.

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon platform operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico had a disaster that killed 11 people, the worst ecological disaster in US history. This incident has cost the company over $60bn, and it is still facing lawsuits. BP paid $1.4bn in compensation last year and estimates it will pay approximately $1.3bn this year.

Debbie Berkowitz, a worker safety consultant and fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, who previously served as OSHA’s chief of staff in the Obama administration, stated that “this company has a history of looking the other way when it comes to safety, and OSHA has fined them before.”

On Thursday, BP released a statement indicating its dedication to safe and dependable operations at all of its facilities. The company has been collaborating with OSHA in its investigation of the Toledo incident and intends to review the citations and maintain discussions with the agency.

OSHA typically lacks the authority to impose substantial fines. The agency’s maximum penalty for a serious violation is $15,625, while a willful or repeat violation can result in a fine of up to $156,259.

Berkowitz remarked that “OSHA fines are notoriously low” and that they are “much lower than any other government agency.”

BP CEO Bernard Looney received a total compensation package of £10.03mn for 2022, which was reduced by £746,000 due in part to the two fatalities at the Toledo refinery. BP operated the refinery, which it jointly owned with Canada’s Cenovus Energy before selling its stake to Cenovus last month.

Looney, who was named CEO in February 2020, launched a corporate overhaul aimed at reducing BP’s reliance on fossil fuels and investing in more sustainable forms of energy. As part of the reset, he appointed a new executive team, but no senior leader in charge of safety was appointed. The head of safety reports to the executive vice president for production and operations, not the CEO.

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