The owners of Canada’s largest refinery have been fined $200.000 after pleading guilty to a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in an October 2018 explosion.
Eighty workers on site at Irving Oil’s Saint John refinery reported minor injuries in the explosion blamed on corrosion in a reactor effluent pipe originally installed in the hydrogen desulfurization unit in 1974, court records show.
The pipe ruptured with no warning, discharging volatile product that ignited. The localized nature of the corrosion allowed it to go undetected and no similar corrosion was found in a subsequent post-explosion inspection.
Increased corrosion monitoring has been put in place, the company says.
Nearly 1,500 workers were on duty at the refinery when the blast occurred. Most of the injuries reported happened in the effort to escape the fire.