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OSHA Cites Husky Energy Over Preventable Wisconsin Refinery Explosion


Husky Energy is facing more fallout from the massive refinery explosion in Superior, Wisconsin that injured multiple workers last April.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it had cited the Superior Refining Company LLC (which does business as Husky Energy) for 8 serious violations of safety management procedures.

OSHA has proposed fining the company $83,150.00 in connection with the blast.

OSHA: Husky Energy Explosion Could Have Been Prevented

“Ensuring the mechanical integrity of critical equipment used during the refinery shutdown operation could have prevented this incident,” OSHA Eau Claire Area Office Director Mark Hysell said in an October 2nd press release.

Among other things, OSHA faulted Superior Refining for failing to:

  • Control the use and release of highly hazardous chemicals.
  • Inspect and test equipment to ensure it was fit for service.
  • Adequately address hazards associated with plant shutdowns.
  • Train workers and contractors on the proper use of equipment involved in the shutdown.
  • Correct deficiencies in equipment that were outside acceptable limits before further use.
  • Establish adequate emergency shutdown procedures for the refinery’s Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU).

11 Refinery Workers and Contractors Suffered OSHA-Reportable Injuries in Husky Energy Explosion

The Husky Energy refinery was preparing to shut down the FCCU for maintenance when the explosion occurred at roughly 10:00 a.m. on April 26, 2018.

A total of 36 people sought medical attention in connection with the blast and resulting fire, including 11 refinery employees and contract workers who suffered OSHA-reportable injuries.

The explosion also forced the evacuation of nearly all 27,000 residents of Superior, Wisconsin.

Husky Energy Explosion Traced to Faulty Slide Valve

In August, a report issued by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board indicated that the explosion was caused by a malfunctioning slide valve that failed to separate oxygen and hydrocarbons within FCCU.

This allowed a flammable mixture to form and spread throughout the unit until it finally came into contact with an ignition source.

The resulting explosion launched a piece of shrapnel that punctured a tank holding approximately 50,000 gallons of asphalt.  The leaking asphalt ignited 2 hours later, sparking a fire that destroyed a large portion of the facility.

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Our Undefeated Refinery Explosion Lawyers are investigating the Husky Energy explosion and will continue to  post updates as new information becomes available.

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If you or someone you love was injured in a workplace explosion or accident, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

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