BP is the recipient of the largest fine in OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) history–$87 million, or four times the previous record–for a 2005 accident at a refinery in Texas City, Texas, that claimed 15 workers’ lives. The fines were levied for BP’s alleged failure to correct 271 hazards ($56.7 million) and for another 439 "willful and egregious" violations of industry safety standards ($30.7 million).

“We continue to believe we are in full compliance with the settlement agreement, and we look forward to demonstrating that before the review commission” which has the power to modify OSHA penalties, BP said in a statement.

Six months after the March 23, 2005, explosion, BP paid a $21.3 million fine–then the largest in OSHA history–as part of its settlement agreement.

OSHA attributed the explosion to cost-cutting safety moves, antiquated equipment, overworked refinery employees (some averaging 12 hours a day over 29 days), and a overly ambitious production schedule. Since the agreement, BP said it has spent $1 billion updating equipment and safety procedures.

Before BP’s 2005 accident, the previously highest fine was an $11.5 million penalty ordered in 1991 against the Angus Chemical Company and IMC Fertilizer Group, operators of a Louisiana fertilizer plant where an explosion killed eight workers and injured 120.

With "the new sheriff in town" in charge of the Department of Labor (DOL), Secretary Hilda Solis, OSHA is adopting a more aggressive stance toward safety violations and on-site accidents. This could be one in a string of increased enforcements.