OREGON, Ohio (WKBN) — A federal investigation into an explosion at a BP refinery in Ohio where two workers were killed is being blamed on poor training.

Federal investigators said the September 2022 explosion happened as workers incorrectly attempted to control rising liquid levels in the fuel gas mix drum, a flammable vapor cloud formed, ignited and triggered an explosion.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found training deficiencies and the failure by BP to meet OSHA’s safety procedures.

OSHA cited BP Products for failing to implement shutdown procedures for the equipment when requested by the operators and for not clearly defining conditions for emergency shutdown of the crude tower.

OSHA proposed $156,250 in penalties, an amount set by federal statutes, and cited the company for 10 serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation of process safety management procedures. Specifically, the agency found BP Products failed to:

  • Train operators to identify the presence of naphtha during an upset condition.
  • Develop and implement safe work practices for responding to upset conditions.
  • Document design for pressure safety valves, including for an overpressure scenario.
  • Address hazards of overfilling process vessels, and safeguards needed to protect against an overfill.
  • Evaluate engineering or administrative controls for draining process equipment during upset conditions.
  • Address human factors with the operation of the inside control board screen loading delays.
  • Ensure process hazard assessments were accurate with respect to level indicator safeguards.