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BP Agrees to Record $50M Fine for Texas Accident

By Jason Beahm on August 13, 2010 7:10 AM

Can you think of a company that needs bad news any less than BP? One would be hard pressed to do so.

Unfortunately, the company is in the headlines yet again, this time after agreeing to pay a $50 million fine for violations of safety regulations at its Texas City refinery. The facility is the company's largest refinery, producing nearly 460,000 barrels of oil per day.

Attorneys for the workers killed and injured in the 2005 Texas accident applauded the $50M fine agreement. BP was originally fined $21 million dollars after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that BP did not sufficiently protect its employees, the Associated Foreign Press reports. After the fine, the company spent around a billion dollars to upgrade safety. Despite the spending, inspectors found that BP was still not adequately protecting its employees. Their fine was more than doubled to $50.6 million in 2009. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970 in order to reduce workplace hazards and implement safety and health programs. Under OSHA, employers must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards, inform employees of OSHA safety and health standards, display in a prominent place the official OSHA poster that describes rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act, establish a written, comprehensive hazard communication program, and inform employees of the existence, location, and availability of their medical and exposure records.

The AFP reports that the Department of Justice did not comment on whether the settlement could alter BP's corporate probation or whether it would impact the criminal investigations into the BP oil spill.

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