July 30, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY– The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Patterson-UTI Drilling, Crescent Consulting LLC, and Skyline Directional Drilling LLC for exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards after five employees suffered fatal injuries.
The explosion and fire occurred on a Patterson-UTI drilling rig near Quinton, Oklahoma. OSHA cited Patterson-UTI and Crescent Consulting for failing to maintain proper controls while drilling a well, inspect slow descent devices, and implement emergency response plans. OSHA cited all three companies for failing to ensure that heat lamps in use were approved for hazardous locations. The three companies face penalties totaling $118,643, the maximum allowed for violation of the OSHA standards.
“These employers failed to properly control hazards involved in oil and gas extraction activities, and the result was tragic,” said OSHA Oklahoma City Area Office Director David Bates. “Employers are required to monitor their operations to ensure workplace health and safety procedures are adequate and effective.”
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The citations can be viewed here, here, and here
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.