OSHA Digs Deep, Finds More than Oil at Texas Well Site

OSHA says an oil and gas well drilling company exposed employees to fall hazards, electrical hazards and improper machine guarding.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., in Snyder, Tex., for exposing employees to fall hazards, electrical hazards and unguarded machinery.

The oil and gas well drilling company, which employs about 6,000 workers in Snyder, was charged with 11 alleged serious safety violations, with proposed penalties of $44,500.

The alleged violations were discovered during an inspection that began May 9, 2001, on rig #131 at an oil well site operated by the company. OSHA found that the company exposed employees to fall hazards from the right through open-sided platforms. Additionally, there were improper machine guarding, electrical hazards on the rig and untrained operators.

A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Employers or workers who have questions concerning safety and health should contact their local area office. Call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.

edited by Sandy Smith

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