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OSHA fines Chevron for fatal explsion at Coast refinery

oshalogo1PASCAGOULA — Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery has been fined $24,000 related to the November explosion and fire that left one employee dead, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Tonya Graddy of Semmes, Ala., a five-year operator for the refinery, was killed Nov. 15 when an explosion occurred in the furnace of the Cracking II Processing Unit. The cracking unit is used in the process breaking down hydrocarbons in the conversion crude oil into fuel and chemicals.

OSHA stepped in for a full investigation after the incident.

Chevron spokesman Alan Sudduth said the company has received OSHA’s citation and notification of penalty and is evaluating the findings carefully.

“We fully cooperated with OSHA’s investigation of the incident, and appreciate the agency’s thorough efforts,” he said. “The safety of our employees, contractors and community is Chevron’s first priority in all of our operations worldwide.”

Chevron has until May 2 to respond, according to OSHA, and until May 13 and June 4 to fix the problems.

OSHA investigated the incident for a month.


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