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Wynnewood Refinery owner contests OSHA penalties

The owner of a southern Oklahoma refinery will contest nearly two dozen citations and a $281,000 fine levied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following an explosion last year that killed two workers.
by Phillip O'Connor Published: April 18, 2013
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— The owner of a southern Oklahoma refinery will contest nearly two dozen citations and a $281,000 fine levied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following an explosion last year that killed two workers.

The issue now moves to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, an independent federal agency that handles such appeals.

Many of the most serious citations involve repeated violations surrounding the engineering and hazardous use of a large boiler that exploded Sept. 28 at the Wynnewood Refining Co., killing operators Billy Smith, 34, and Russell Mann, 45.

The company had been cited for many of the same violations following another boiler explosion in 2008.

A spokeswoman for CVR Energy Inc., the Sugar Land, Texas-based company that owns the Wynnewood refinery, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

In a statement last month, the company noted that many of OSHA's findings were consistent with an internal investigation the company shared with OSHA in December, which identified the cause of the explosion as a combination of human error and inconsistencies in procedures and training.

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by Phillip O'Connor
Enterprise Editor
O'Connor joined the Oklahoman staff in June, 2012 after working at The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a combined 28 years. O'Connor, an Oklahoma City resident, is a graduate of Kansas State University. He has written frequently...
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