OAKLAND, Calif., March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker today issued the following statement in response to the RAND Corporation’s economic analysis of draft refinery regulations to improve refinery worker safety and public safety in nearby communities:
“Refinery incidents as recent as this week are sobering reminders of the risks for workers and for the people that live and work nearby. The draft regulations are a part of the state’s ongoing commitment to protect refinery workers and surrounding communities.
“The RAND study reveals a substantial economic and social benefit in preventing costly refinery incidents, and that the costs to industry from the proposed regulations are balanced with the worker and public safety benefits.”
The proposed regulations were developed in response to recommendations made by the Governor’s Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety, convened to examine policy and regulatory measures to improve safety in the wake of the August 2012 Chevron facility incident in Richmond, California.
The RAND study was conducted as a requirement for the California Office of Administrative Law rulemaking process and Senate Bill 617 (Chapter 496, Statutes of 2011). Under SB 617, a state agency must conduct a standardized regulatory impact assessment when it estimates that a proposed regulation has an economic impact exceeding $50 million.
DIR’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health Process Safety Management Unit is responsible for inspecting refineries and chemical plants that handle large quantities of toxic and flammable materials. Health and safety standards enforced by the unit seek to prevent catastrophic explosions, fires, and releases of dangerous chemicals.
Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged to subscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.
The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. For general inquiries, contact DIR’s Communications Call Center at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.