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Washington L&I rule to require advanced safety training for refinery workers

Washington-oil refinery
Photo: PhilAugustavo/iStockphoto

Tumwater, WA — Refinery workers in high-hazard facilities in Washington state will have to undergo 20 hours of approved advanced safety training under a new rule from the state’s Department of Labor & Industries.

The training must be completed by April 22. That’s six months after the effective date of the requirement, part of a new chapter in the state’s workplace safety rules. The addition is a directive of H.B. 1817, signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on May 8, 2019.

The rule applies to owners and operators of petroleum refining or petrochemical manufacturing facilities who contract for construction, alteration, demolition, installation, repair and maintenance work. It details requirements for worker certification, in-person classroom curriculum and laboratory instruction, and approval of training providers.


Training must be conducted by a “competent instructor” who has “demonstrated satisfactory performance in the occupation for a minimum of three years.” The instructor must meet state board requirements for vocational-technical instructors at community and technical colleges; be recognized as having expertise in a specific occupation as a subject matter expert; and have training in teaching techniques and adult-learning styles, either before or within one year of beginning to provide instruction.

The rule outlines occupation-specific training courses, such as Fundamentals of Petroleum Refining; Refining Industry Safety Concepts; and Craft-Specific Safety Training, which can include hot work; working at height; electrical; pipefitting; equipment operating engineers; finishing trades; cement masons; and ironworkers, boilermakers and steelworkers.

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