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October 11, 2012
State investigates Chevron fire with plans to improve process

As Cal/OSHA pursues its investigation of the August fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery, the agency is working to improve collaboration for compliance and enforcement between Cal/OSHA and other agencies.

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State safety inspectors have been on the scene collecting and testing evidence, interviewing dozens of workers, and reviewing thousand of pages of documents. The investigation has widened to include leak repair procedures and practices at the entire Redmond site, an inspection of equipment at the El Segundo location, and an inspection of a contractor whose workers were at risk during the Richmond incident.

Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess anticipates that the initial investigation will be completed in February. She says various regulatory agencies and state and local investigators are sharing ideas. The goal is to expand communication and increase data sharing, coordination of enforcement efforts, and cross-training of staff on safety and health hazards.

A pipe failure caused the massive blaze in early August that shut down a crude unit and sent thousands to local hospitals.

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