Marathon Petroleum employees participate in unique fire exercise

Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) employees from the Catlettsburg refinery participated in a Trench Safety Stand Down exercise and demonstration with local officials from the Ashland Fire Department (AFD), Ashland-Boyd County-Catlettsburg Office of Emergency Management and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the AFD Training Center in Ashland, Kentucky.

The event’s purpose was to help raise public awareness of trench safety and allow members of MPC’s Refinery Emergency Response Team and Ashland Fire Department to train in trench rescue. 

The fire department hosted the event, which featured two trenches dug by the city of Ashland to allow the MPC Safety Department to present an exhibit on both safe and hazardous trenching practices.

The “safe” trench was used to demonstrate proper sloping, benching and shoring. Signs were posted so that participants could visualize the requirements to ensure a safe and compliant trench such as: identification of underground utilities by calling 811, spoil pile set back, water removal, air monitoring, ventilation, safe access/egress and daily competent person inspections. The “hazardous” trench was used to demonstrate the teamwork and tools required to safely retrieve a person trapped inside a trench.

MPC’s Emergency Response Team and the Ashland Fire Department worked together as a team to complete the trench rescue drill safely and successfully by retrieving a training mannequin.

“Working and training with our local emergency responders only makes us better, and our communities safer,” said Greg Gibson, Safety Supervisor, Catlettsburg refinery. “Especially during times of potential real emergency when we would need to be able to effectively communicate and align with our local agencies to ensure the best possible outcome.”

KY OSH and Federal OSHA agree this is the type of partnership they like to see from Kentucky’s VPP Star sites such as MPC’s Catlettsburg Refinery.

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