Engineering News

BP identified low morale among refinery workers
Thu Mar 24, 2005 01:35 PM ET

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - BP Plc, whose Texas City refinery was rocked by an explosion on Wednesday that killed 15, identified low morale as a problem among its refinery workers five years ago, according to the company's staff magazine.

The company said morale at its refining unit suffered during the upheaval that followed the company's 1999 acquisition of Amoco, which had owned the Texas City plant, but had since improved.

London-headquartered BP, the world's second-largest oil firm by market capitalisation, initiated a programme called "Operation People" to try and improve worker satisfaction after employee surveys showed this to be low.

"(Operation People was) an initiative begun by refining business unit leaders in response to falling people assurance survey scores and low morale in BP refineries," the November 2004 edition of BP's internal staff magazine Horizon said.

"The objective of Operation People was to help transform refining into a great place to work," the magazine quoted Hugh Parsons, business unit leader at BP's Grangemouth refinery in Scotland, as saying.

BP spokesman Roddy Kennedy added that bad morale was no longer considered a problem nor was it an issue in the incident in Texas City.

"There is nothing in recent surveys from our refineries that indicate morale problems," Kennedy said.

BP was not immediately able to pinpoint the cause of the Texas City explosion but ruled out a terrorist strike.

The accident at Texas City came just a year after a blast rocked the same refinery. That accident resulted in citations for 14 alleged violations from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Source: Reuters

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