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Safety at California oil refineries topic for new task force

Safety on job sites throughout California is always a concern to workers and regulators alike. Some industries, such as construction or farming, are inherently more dangerous than others. Oil refineries also carry a relatively high chance of workplace accidents. It only takes one safety hazard to cause an accident on the job that may result in injury and a resulting workers’ compensation claim.

In response in large part due to the August 2012 fire at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, several agencies have teamed up with the California governor’s office to identify ways to improve safety for refinery workers. The focus and goal of the group’s work was to outline new ways to make working conditions at refineries safer as well as to enhance refineries’ overall preparedness for emergencies.

One of the key recommendations from the group is the creation of a new Interagency Refinery Task Force under the umbrella of the California Environmental Protection Agency. The new task force would be in place to oversee all other activities and recommendations and to ensure proper implmentation. New regulations and strengthening of existing regulations are also called for.

From negligent operating of machinery to slip and fall accidents to employer negligence and more, an unsafe working environment can leave a worker seriously injured and unable to work in an instant. It is important that proper care is taken on the part of employers to keep employees safe. If you are concerned about the safety of your workplace, you may consider seeking professional advice to learn your rights and keep yourself protected.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “Working group releases California refinery safety report,” July 16, 2013 

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