In response to a refinery fire and chemical release in Richmond, California in August, 2012, agencies of the California state government have proposed regulations to improve safety in and around oil refineries in the state. The proposed rules have two branches, the California OSHA regulations governing safety in workplaces and the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) meant to prevent release of hazardous substances. The Department of Industrial Relations, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the California EPA worked in concert to make the two sets of regulations complementary. The proposed rules will be the subject of a 45 day comment period.
Among the main points of the regulations:
- Refinery employers are specifically responsible for sound design and stable mechanical condition of a refinery.
- Employee and management both have a role in safety programs and work culture.
- Workers and personnel on site at a refinery have authority to shut down a refinery if a hazardous condition exists, as well as a channel for anonymous reporting.
- Standards are set for accident investigation and reporting.
Besides health and safety risks to workers and the community, refinery incidents have a significant cost to California. For example, refinery events can result in fuel shortages, causing economic losses estimated at as much $800 million annually.This entry was posted on Monday, August 29th, 2016 By