Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced July 12 that OSHA has reached a settlement with BP Products North America Inc. to resolve hundreds of process safety management violations identified at the company's Texas City, Texas, refinery in 2009. BP will pay more than $13 million in OSHA fines and agree to resolve all outstanding citations by the end of 2012.

"We want all of cited hazards to be corrected," said Solis during a July 12 press conference call announcing the agreement. "We want the men and women working at Texas City to go home safely at the end of the day."

On March 23, 2005, a massive explosion at BP's Texas City refinery killed 15 employees. In the aftermath of the incident, BP faced harsh criticism of its safety processes and a $21 million OSHA fine – the largest fine the agency had issued at the time.

A 2009 OSHA follow-up investigation revealed that BP had failed to correct all safety violations as outlined in the 2005 agreement, causing OSHA to issue 270 failure-to-abate notices. BP paid a $50.6 million penalty in 2010 to resolve those issues. The 2009 follow-up investigation also prompted OSHA to cite BP for 439 willful violations of the process safety management (PSM) standard. This latest agreement was made to resolve those violations.

Under the agreement, BP is committed to paying $13,027,000 in penalties and either permanently correcting or having a process for addressing all of the outstanding citations and violations by the conclusion of 2012.

"I promise you to make sure BP lives up to their end of the deal," said Solis. "We'll continue to send that same message to other refineries across the country."