photo by NewsHour (Flickr Creative Commons)

BP has agreed to pay $50.6m (€39.7m) in fines to US government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to rectify safety hazards after a 2005 explosion at a Texas City oil refinery killed 15 workers and injured 170.

BP already paid a $21.3m (€16.7m) record breaking fine to OSHA following the deadly 2005 explosion. Besides both fines BP has agreed to set aside $500m to correct safety conditions at the refinery for current workers.

From an RTT News report:

The settlement resolves 270 of 709 citations OSHA issued at the Texas refinery in October 2009, BP said in a statement. The company is already liable for billions in fines and compensation payouts in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Criminal charges levied against BP for the 2005 explosion totaled $50m and compensation to the victims’ families is estimated to be $2bn. Yet after 15 deaths and all that money, BP did not fix these violations. This gives you an idea of the kind of money involved in the oil industry – and that’s just BP and just in the Gulf of Mexico.

A further 439 violations, totaling in an additional $30m in fines by OSHA, are still being contested by BP.

Rachel Maddow has more vitriolic rage on the this unbelievable story:

OSHA issues BP record fine for violations in Texas

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