The April explosion at the Tesoro petroleum refinery that killed seven workers could have been prevented and now the firm faces a record fine for violations of state safety rules.
The state Department of Labor &Industries today released the findings of its six-month investigation and cited Tesoro for 39 “willful” violations and five “serious” violations of state workplace safety and health regulations. It also fined the company $2.38 million which officials said is the largest fine in the agency’s history.
“This explosion and the deaths of these men and women would never have occurred had Tesoro tested their equipment in a manner consistent with standard industry practices, their own policies and state regulations,” L&I Director Judy Schurke said in a press release.
Read the press release and you’ll also find links to other details released today.
Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wa., whose district includes the refinery, issued a statement today that noted a federal agency is also investigating what happened April 2.
“No fine or penalty can bring back the workers who were killed in this incident, but the record fine announced today sends a clear message that companies will be held accountable for keeping their workers safe,” he said. “The federal Chemical Safety Board will issue an independent report on the Tesoro incident next year, supplementing the work of the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.”