Exxon Fined $566,000 in Refinery Explosion

Saying ExxonMobil Refining knew of leaks at its Torrance refinery as far back as 2007, California workplace safety regulators want a $566,600 fine imposed on the oil giant in the wake of a February explosion that injured four workers.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) in Sacramento cited the firm for 19 alleged violations, including six willful instances, in an order issued Thursday in Sacramento.

The cracker unit in Torrance leaked ito an electrostatic precipitator, a particle filtration device, initiating the explosion, according to Cal/OSHA’s DOSH unit.  The hydrocarbon release caused the precipitator to explode.

As early as 2007, the refinery identified flammable vapor leakage in the area but “failed to correct the danger,” according to DOSH.

DOSH seeks a fine of $70,000 for the six willful violations.  The company has 15 days to appeal the citations to the OSHA Appeals Board.

Eight workers were decontaminated and four suffered minor injuries that were treated at nearby hospitals.

Case:  ExxonMobil Refining #1042440


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