OSHA Cites Oklahoma-based Horizontal Well Drillers for Safety Hazards at Texas Site


Jacksboro, TX (WorkersCompensation.com) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Horizontal Well Drillers with three repeat and one serious safety violation for exposing workers to hazards at a drilling site in Jacksboro. OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office opened an inspection on May 10 in response to a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. Proposed penalties total $55,500.

The repeat violations include failing to provide an auxiliary escape line, ensure all guardrails are installed to prevent falls of more than 4 feet and ensure the usage of personal protective equipment such as flame-resistant clothing in the event of a flash fire. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The serious violation involves a failure to ground the shale shaker trailer. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"This company exposed its employees to avoidable workplace hazards that can cause serious injury and possible death," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth. "Employers are responsible for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses, and it is very fortunate that no one was hurt at this drill site."

Horizontal Well Drillers, headquartered in Purcell, Okla., is an oil and gas drilling company that employs about 450 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Fort Worth area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Fort Worth office at 817-581-7303.

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 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.

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