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Exxon Mobil Fined for Explosion That Injured 4 Workers

On November 22, 2016, an explosion at a Baton Rouge refinery injured four workers, two of them severely. The incident involved a sulfuric-acid alkylation unit that produces octane-boosting components for gasoline. A worker turned a valve stem on the unit using a wrench and, due to malfunctions, pieces of the valve fell out. When this happened, isobutane released, which then ignited due to a welding machine 70 feet away. One worker was knocked off a scaffolding and suspended above the resulting fire. Another suffered burns over most of her body. Recently, United States regulators fined Exxon Mobil Corp. $165,000, claiming that the incident was due to safety lapses. These include inadequate training and equipment maintenance. Additionally, Exxon failed to carry out required inspections within the required time periods. OSHA Reacts The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued nine citations, several of which are reminiscent of previous citations at other…
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