PORT ARTHUR - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Valero Energy Corp. and proposed $101,750 in penalties for alleged safety violations at its Port Arthur refihnery.

OSHA issued the citations alleging 13 serious, two repeat and one other-than-serious violation following an investigation that began at the refinery Oct. 16.

The inspection was initiated as part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program for petroleum refineries. Valero, headquartered in San Antonio, has about 830 employees at its Port Arthur facility.

"We are pleased that Valero has expressed a willingness to take quick, corrective actions in resolving the safety and health violations," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas.

Serious violations include failing to implement accurate process safety information, failing to provide employees with accurate operating procedures, failing to have an adequate system in place to advance recommendations from process hazard analysis and failure to correct equipment deficiencies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A serious violation is one with potential to cause death or serious physical harm to employees when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the repeat violations address the company's failure to implement inspection and testing procedures that follow OSHA's standards and regulations.

Valero has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Houston, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health can contact OSHA's Houston South Area Office at (281) 286-0583. A toll-free hotline at (800) 321-6742 may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.