Cal/OSHA’s PSM unit has completed investigations at all of California’s refineries in the aftermath of the deadly explosion last year at the Tesoro Refinery in Washington state.
According to Cal/OSHA, this unusual step was taken to ensure that safeguards are in place to prevent California from experiencing a similar disaster. A report completed following the inspection revealed that the hydrogen corrosion that led to the Tesoro accident was due to conditions that are not present in California.
The California Emphasis Program report found that the state’s refineries are using the most advanced technology available for controlling the type of corrosion that can be caused by crude oil refining.
Division of Industrial Relations Director John C. Duncan says the process safety management (PSM) team has developed a good working relationship with the state’s refineries.
In addition to accident investigations, the PSM unit also conducts planned process safety inspections.
Refinery owners gave inspectors unlimited access to the facilities. Cal/OSHA personnel met with safety managers and examined each site’s procedures for identifying and mitigating corrosion damage produced by naphtha hydrotreater process units.
According to the agency, Cal/OSHA’s PSM unit is the only one of its kind in the country.