Today's News / Occupational Safety

Drilling company workers injured in gas well fire

Hall Drilling failed to provide FR clothing

February 27, 2013
KEYWORDS citations / drilling
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fireA gas well fire that injured three workers has resulted in two serious citations against a West Virginia drilling company. OSHA inspected Hall Drilling LLC’s facilities following the August 2012 incident as part of the agency's regional emphasis program for safety in the oil and gas industry. Proposed penalties total $12,600.

"The hazardous nature of oil and gas drilling operations requires employers to find and fix the hazards. In this case, ensuring the use of proper personal protective equipment, such as flame-resistant clothing, could have helped in protecting the workers," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office.

The serious violations include failing to ensure the use of flame-retardant clothing from flash fires and burns and to ensure workers were not exposed to fire and gas explosions from uncontrolled gas flow at the well bore. 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.

Hall Drilling, which performs natural gas and oil well drilling, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Charleston, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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