It’s going to take some time to get our government back on line after BushCo. From the Houston Chronicle…
Federal regulators responsible for ensuring worker safety have not
conducted planned inspections of the vast majority of area petroleum
refineries over the last five years — including the BP Texas City plant
where 15 people were killed two years ago, a Houston Chronicle review
of federal records shows.
Instead, inspections by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health
Administration of local refineries have been conducted only
sporadically — sometimes after years of no visits by inspectors at all.
And the few inspections that have been conducted all came after a
complaint, referral or accident, records show.
When federal investigators this week release their final report on
the causes of the BP explosion, OSHA may be sharing the hot seat with
the oil giant.
At issue is whether the 37-year-old agency has provided adequate oversight of the refining industry.
While the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s
findings won’t be made public until Tuesday, many industry observers
are concerned that OSHA fails to proactively enforce its own standards,
leaving plant operators to largely police themselves. They say the BP
accident shows what can happen as a result.
“OSHA’s oversight role has been a major focus of our investigation
for more than a year and we will be presenting significant findings
(Tuesday) in our final report,” CSB Chairwoman Carolyn Merritt told the