Sam Hananel reports, “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is issuing a record $87 million fine against oil giant BP for failing to correct safety hazards after a 2005 explosion killed 15 people at its Texas City refinery” (AP for FindLaw, 11/1).

The fine, which is the largest in the history of OSHA, is the result of a several month investigation that revealed hundreds of violations of a 2005 agreement to address and repair hazards at the oil refinery.

Although a BP spokesman says the company believed it was in “full compliance” with the settlement agreement, OSHA rebuts that BP will now face “hundreds of new violations for failing to follow industry controls on pressure relief safety systems and other precautions.”

As a Chicago lawyer who dedicates his career to helping average Americans obtain just compensation, I am pleased to see that the OSHA is holding large companies responsible for breaching of settlement agreements. Violating industry controls is an irresponsible way to conduct business for which companies must be held liable.