OSHA is reviewing accident data in response to complaints from labor and labor representatives that safety lapses have again become rampant at the plant where the worst refinery accident in the last thirty years took place in 2005. The Marathon Galveston Bay refinery is now owned by Marathon Petroleum Corp., but was under BP’s ownership when, on March 23rd, 2005, an explosion killed 15 people. BP sold the plant to Marathon in 2013. While BP put a number of voluntary safety measures in place to prevent another tragedy, complaints from workers under Marathon about reporting and classification of accidents and injuries have raised federal concern. According to a Reuters report, United Steelworkers and other unnamed labor sources claim that workers who are injured on the job are first taken to an onsite doctor for first aid and then sent home to await the results of a drug test. They assert that such waiting time is not being reported to OSHA as “lost-time” associated with injury, even though it is in fact “healing” time. Marathon representatives have downplayed the investigation, telling Reuters that, “OSHA initiated an investigation regarding the proper classification of a handful of incidents.”
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