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Revisit Safety Look @ Texas & Crane Deaths

Home Forums Refining Community Refinery News Contract Worker killed Motiva Pt Arthur Refinery Revisit Safety Look @ Texas & Crane Deaths


Charles Randall

Know your Conference is underway & you may not have time to read or interject this but please look at my comments & background to Motiva Crane incident.
 As we read of yet another Crane Accident (Motiva Pt Arthur) where a contract worker was killed & reflect back on Lyondell’s deadly accident in July 2008 where 4 workers were killed – it doesn’t seem like either Osha, Refinery Safety or any of the industries have caught up with this problem or changed the behavior enough to start saving lives.
It is no happenstance that both the Houston & Pt Arthur Deadly Crane accidents happen in one of the 35 states that don’t require Crane Operators to be licensed – for heaven sakes WHY NOT!! And as you read OSHA’s account of nearly 100 Crane accidents the opportunity for disaster is unlimited variety.
If it isnt on’s list for major corrective surgery it darn well should be.
Charlie Randall
1) CRandall Post Coking.Com – Current Crane Accident News item
Contract Worker killed Motiva Pt Arthur Refinery – 4/19/2010 4:57:04 PM 
Worker killed at Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery

Mon Apr 19,2010 2:13 pm ET

TORONTO (Reuters) A contract worker was killed on Monday morning in an accident at Motiva Enterprises LLC’s 285,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, according to a person familiar with refinery operations.
A spokeswoman for the refinery told local television station KFDM-TV the refinery remained operational.
“We regret to confirm that a fatality involving a contract worker occurred at 8:30 a.m. today at Motiva’s Port Arthur Crude Expansion Project,” said a spokesman for the company. “The circumstances of this incident are under investigation”
The worker worked for BECON Construction, according to the spokesman. BECON is a subsidiary of Bechtel, the largest U.S. engineering company.
He was killed in a crane accident in part of the plant that is undergoing expansion, said Larry Sartin, a spokesman for lawyer Brent Coons, who represents District 13 of the United Steel Workers.
The refinery is currently being expanded to be able to process 600,000 barrels per day of oil. The expansion will add 325,000 bpd of crude processing capacity and is expected to be completed in early 2012.
“They have really started to ramp up activity there lately,” said one source familiar with refinery operations.” Motiva Enterprises is a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Aramco. The company said all appropriate governmental authorities have been notified.
(Reporting by Janet McGurty; Editing by Walter Bagley)
2) Background Reference items on Crane Accidents – checked by Osha

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
100 OSHA INVESTIGATED OVERHEAD CRANE ACCIDENTS. Accident 171055205 – Employee Killed in Fall From Overhead
3) Previous Refinery Crane Accident Kills 4 7/2008
RE: Closer Safety look Texas & Crane deaths General –
Forum: Coker News –
CRandall Post
Lyondell Refinery Coking – Crane collapse kills 4 – 7/18/2008 4:42:54 PM   
Houston refinery crane collapse kills 4

By Erwin Seba 1 hour, 10 minutes ago
HOUSTON (Reuters) – Four people were killed and six were injured when a massive crane collapsed at LyondellBasell’s Houston refinery on Friday afternoon, a refinery executive said.
“It’s a very sad day for us at the refinery,” said Jim Roecker, vice president of refining operations, during a news conference outside the refinery’s front gate.
All workers were accounted, Roecker said.
Witnesses near the refinery said several helicopter ambulances were seen taking off from the plant in the first hour after the crane collapsed at about 1:30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT).
The fatalities in Houston follow two recent deadly collapses in New York. In May, two people were killed on Manhattan’s Upper East Side after a large crane fell and damaged an apartment building. In March, seven were killed after a crane crushed a residential building.
The crane collapse in Houston was the deadliest U.S. crude oil refinery accident since a massive 2005 explosion at BP Plc’s giant refinery in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 workers and injured 180 other people. Texas City is located 50 miles south of Houston.
Television footage of the collapsed crane at the Houston refinery showed it appeared to break off at the base, crushing trucks and cracking asphalt. Roecker declined to disclose the names of those killed and the companies for which they worked, pending notification of the next of kin.

The giant crane, capable of lifting thousands of tons, collapsed while it was being assembled, witnesses said. He said the crane was owned by Deep South Crane & Rigging, which is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Deep South had no immediate comment on the accident.

Deep South is providing crane equipment to a number of large U.S. refinery projects, including expansions at the Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, Texas; the Marathon refinery at Garyville, Louisiana and maintenance projects at Citgo’s Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery and the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Illinois.
Those killed and injured worked for outside contractors preparing an overhaul of crude distillation and coking units at LyondellBasell’s 270,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery located along the Houston Ship Channel.

The Houston refinery had been scheduled to begin a seven-week overhaul of a crude distillation unit and a coking unit at the refinery in early July. Other ancillary units at the plant were scheduled to be shut during the overhaul.
The refinery has two crude distillation units and two coking units. A crude distillation unit begins the refining process by turning crude oil into feedstock for further processing into fuels by specialized units at a refinery.
A coking unit strains the last motor fuel feedstocks from gunky residual crude oil and turns the remainder into petroleum coke.

LyondellBasell is a Netherlands-based chemical and refining company with annual revenues of $45 billion and 16,000 employees worldwide. (Additional reporting by Anna Driver and Eileen O’Grady; Editing by David Gregorio)


CRandall comments post Coking.Com
Closer Safety look Texas & Crane deaths General – 7/19/2008 9:24:31 AM 
Think this highlights real safety issue for Crane operation, Refineries & Coker work here in Texas.

One articles had stated that about 60-100 people die each year from crane related deaths – clearly an area for some upgrades on our refinery requirements /procedure for these guys instead of relying on this industry that accepts these kind of death tolls!

Here are some other stats on accidents around Texas lifted from other news articles:

In New York City, two crane accidents since March have killed nine people a greater number than the total deaths from cranes over the previous decade.

An Associated Press analysis in June found that cities and states have wildly varying rules governing construction cranes, and some have no regulations at all, choosing instead to rely on federal guidelines dating back nearly 40 years that some experts say haven’t kept up with technological advances.

Texas led the nation with 26 crane-related fatalities in 2005 and 2006, according to federal statistics. Cranes in Texas operate without any state or local oversight, leaving that job to federal regulators.
The crane at the refinery had been delivered in pieces and assembled on site within the last month. It was brought in to remove the roof of the coker unit so large drums could be removed from inside, Roecker said. Cokers convert crude oil to petroleum products.

East Texas Crane Academy president Joe Bob Williams, whose clients include Lyondell, said it’s unusual for such cranes to fail because of the number of people involved in their maintenance.”It’s really odd for these cranes to have any issues because there are so many eyes looking in,” Williams said.

Cameras are mounted around the plant and Roecker said the company hopes that video from those cameras will help it figure out what happened.
CRandall Update News Post
Update Crane accident Lyondell – Crane Operator fault s… – 1/19/2009 11:06:02 AM 

< Here is update on LyondellBasell Refinery Crane collapse – after OSHA investigation on July accident that killed 4 workers – the Fed’s have charged Deep South Crane & Rigging with serious safety violations – CER>
Crane operator was inadequately trained

04:11 PM CST on Saturday, January 17, 2009
Associated Press

HOUSTON — Federal officials have charged a Baton Rouge company with serious safety violations in connection with a crane collapse that killed four workers at a Houston oil refinery last year.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued three citations, including six serious, one repeat, and one other-than-serious violation against Deep South Crane and Rigging following an OSHA investigation into the July 18 collapse at a LyondellBasell refinery. The 30-story-tall craneone of the worlds largest mobile cranestoppled over, killing two employees and two crane operators. Seven other people were injured.
Not only was the crane operator inadequately trained but the project superintendent did not ensure the crane did not reach hazardous conditions, Mark Briggs, OSHAs area director for its Houston South Area Office, said in a statement. If OSHAs regulations and industry standards had been followed, it is possible this tragedy could have been prevented.
Deep South officials said in a statement they have cooperated fully with the OSHA investigation.
This was a very tragic event, and despite our initial concerns about OSHAs findings, we are committed to doing all that we can to learn from the event and ensure it never happens again, spokeswoman Margaret Landry said.
The OSHA citations include six serious violationsissued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. Those violations include failing to ensure that load rating charts were secured to the cab; the charts included the limitations and warnings for stability of the crane; the controls were labeled in the cab of the crane; and employees were protected from falling on walking-working surfaces.
OSHA also charged Deep South with failing to provide adequate training and ensure that the crane operator was qualified to operate the crane.
The violations carry $71,500 in penalties. The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHAs area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
4) Reference Other Crane Collapses &
News Article, GMA 

Houston Refinery Latest in String of Crane Collapses
July 19, 2008
Texas Is One of 35 States Not Requiring Crane Operators to be Licensed

In a scene that has become all-too familiar, one of the nation’s largest mobile cranes came crashing down at a Houston oil refinery on Friday afternoon, killing four workers. It was the latest of a number of fatal crane accidents 
“I stopped in my tracks and … oh, we was in shock,” said Stacey Davis, who witnessed the accident. “I knew […] probably some people got killed, because it was so big. It was so loud.”
The massive 30-story-tall crane toppled over at the LyondellBasell refinery in southeast Houston. It had not been scheduled for operation until next week, but its engine was on after it hit the ground.
Seven other workers were injured in the accident, and as of Friday night, two employees remained in the hospital with nonlife threatening injuries, according to a LyondellBasell press statement.
“It is really difficult,” said one construction worker at the scene. “You know, you are tight with all of these guys. You work around them every day.”
The crane’s operator, Deep South Crane & Rigging, has an excellent safety record. It had been assembling the enormous crane for the past month and had conducted its first test lift on Thursday.
With an alarming number of crane-related deaths and crashes in cities from New York to Miami to Milwaukee, serious questions have been raised about the safety of the nation’s construction cranes.
Texas is one of 35 states that does not require crane operators to be licensed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires cranes to undergo annual inspections, but it is up to crane owners in the state to police themselves.
Investigators are still determining the cause of the crash, as LyondellBasell workers struggle with the unexpected tragedy.
“It’s a very sad day for us here at the refinery,” said Jim Roecker, the vice president of Refining Operations for LyondellBasell. “Certainly our thoughts and prayers are going out to the families of all our employees.”

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