Serious safety violations at Delek detailed in OSHA papers just released - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Serious safety violations at Delek detailed in OSHA papers just released

It was KLTV 7 who first told you about Delek Refining's average rating with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, but that was just the beginning.

Today, we got our hands on about 40 pages of new information, this time from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. KLTV 7's Layron Livingston takes us through the documents that detail several serious safety violations OSHA found during 2 separate inspections.

It's three dozen pages of citations, one inspection spanning nearly 6 months; the other, just shy of 4. The results are penalties totaling nearly $75,000.

The cause of Thursday's explosion is still under investigation. Meanwhile, OSHA has yet to resolve certain issues at the refinery dating back to 1994, and that's just one of several new details revealed in a stack of documents. The paperwork tells the story of a hot oil spill at the refinery back in April. A serious violation was noted when employees working the spill were not wearing the proper protective equipment.

Delek was cited again in April for containers of hazardous chemicals not being properly labeled and identified.

This past year, OSHA also cited Delek for failing to prioritize piping inspections. In addition, OSHA inspectors found certain barriers were not in place to protect equipment and piping from vehicle traffic.

The list goes on...

"They're under a lot of more stricter guidelines than the average company out there," said Cpt. Jeff Akin of the Tyler Fire Department. Cpt. Akin says that throughout the past decade, his department has responded to an average of 3 to 5 calls a year at the refinery. He says that's not bad - for an oil refinery.

Cpt. Akin says his department also trains with a Delek fire team throughout the year. That team can then respond quickly if something does go wrong.

"Just with the nature of the chemicals and the processes that they use to create those chemicals...it just becomes a more hazardous enviroment," said Cpt. Akin.

We contacted representatives with Delek for a response to OSHA's findings. As of now, the company has no information to send. An OSHA representative told KLTV 7 that both inspections have been contested by Delek Refining, but it could take some time before OSHA's review commission and representatives with Delek reach a conclusion.

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com

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