IR #99-15
Friday, September 17, 1999
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050

Cal/OSHA slaps Tosco with citations at Rodeo refinery

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) today issued four citations to Tosco's Rodeo refinery for alleged violations of state workplace safety regulations as a result of its investigation following the fatal fire at the company's Avon plant.

"The Cal/OSHA investigation was initiated to determine if the Tosco Rodeo plant had a similar pattern of problems that led to the fire that engulfed and killed four employees on February 23 at the Avon plant," said Cal/OSHA Chief John Howard. "Tosco's failure to protect its employees at the Avon site was of great concern to us as we entered the Rodeo plant. Due to the excellent maintenance performed by the prior owner of the Rodeo Refinery, similar problems did not exist."

Tosco purchased the Rodeo plant in April 1997. Prior to that Unocal had owned the plant since 1896. Records acquired by Cal/OSHA during the investigation indicate that Unocal had exceptional maintenance and record keeping performance.

Cal/OSHA did cite Tosco's Rodeo Refinery $1,760 for alleged violations not associated with the crude oil distillation towers inspected. Specifically, Cal/OSHA found:

California law provides that a company may appeal Cal/OSHA citations and penalties within 15 working days to the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board in Sacramento.

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