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Dozens of safety violations found at the BP-Husky refinery in Toledo, Ohio, could cost BP Plc more than $3 million in fines, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

This move comes five months after OSHA fined BP for $87.4 million for failing to fix safety problems at its giant Texas City, Texas, refinery found after a March 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others.[private]

“OSHA has found that BP often ignored or severely delayed fixing known hazards in its refineries,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. “There is no excuse for taking chances with people’s lives. BP must fix the hazards now.”

BP has 15 days to appeal the violations to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. That commission is already considering an appeal of the fine against the Texas City refinery.

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“The Toledo refinery’s 2009 rate of recordable injuries was more than 25 percent lower than the refining industry average,” said BP spokesman Scott Dean. “In addition, the Toledo refinery has made steady, measurable improvement in matters of process safety.”

Dean said BP was disappointed OSHA characterized the majority of violations as willful.

“We will continue to work closely with our local OSHA representatives and look forward to further cooperation with the agency,” Dean said.

An internal OSHA memo, provided by Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s office, said problems with pressure relief valves at the Toledo refinery were “similar to the conditions that existed shortly before the massive 2005 Texas City refinery explosion.”[/private]

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