Oil refinery Calumet Montana Refining in Great Falls, MT, is facing $77,000 in fines for one willful, one serious and one other-than-serious safety violation for hazardous conditions found during a February inspection, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“The employer modified high-voltage electrical equipment to keep the asphalt mill operating, despite the safety concerns this modification presented to employees,” said Jeff Funke, the agency’s area director in Billings. “It is unacceptable for an employer to place production above safety and health.”
An arc explosion occurred at the company’s Asphalt Mill February 11. One willful violation was for exposing workers to the arc flash and explosion hazards associated with bypassing a motor circuit protector switch. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
One serious violation was for unused safety signs, symbols and accident prevention tags that are necessary to warn workers about electrical hazards. In addition, one other-than-serious violation was for failing to post the voltage, current, wattage and other necessary ratings on electrical switches and panel boards.