Agencies note anniversary of deadly BP explosion

Both the Department of Labor and the Chemical Safety Board this week commemorated the five-year anniversary of a series of explosions at BP's Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and injured several others, urging refineries to improve their safety efforts.

"Today and every day, I hope that the entire petrochemical industry is fully and actively dedicated to worker health and safety at all American refineries and chemical plants," Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a March 23 press release. Solis recommended refineries examine how they address safety issues, management and worker commitment to improving safety systems, training, maintenance, and use of leading indicators to measure safety.

In a separate statement, CSB Chairman John Bresland noted that his agency's investigation into the tragedy found organizational and safety deficiencies at every level of BP Corp. He said cost-cutting affected safety programs and maintenance, production pressure resulted in costly mistakes, and BP's board in London failed to act on identified problems.

Bresland added that only time will tell if the accident actually made BP and other refineries take safety more seriously.

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