New CSB Safety Video Stresses Safe Hot Work Practices

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a new safety video detailing a June 2006 explosion that led to the deaths of three contractors at the Partridge-Raleigh oilfield in rural Raleigh, Miss., to emphasize safe hot work practices.

The victims were employees of Stringer's Oilfield Services, an independent contract firm hired by Partridge-Raleigh to perform maintenance on oil storage tanks at the facility.

The 9-minute video, "Death in the Oilfield," includes a 3-D computer animation depicting the sequence of events that led to the explosion, which occurred when sparks from a welding operation ignited flammable vapors venting from a storage tank. The animation describes the preparation of the site by Stringer's employees and the unsafe hot work that led to the accident.

The video includes interviews with CSB investigators and Board Member William E. Wright and highlights the key safety lessons and board recommendations from CSB's yearlong investigation of the accident. The investigation determined that neither Partridge-Raleigh nor Stringer's Oilfield Services followed safe practices for hot work, which includes operations such as cutting, welding and grinding that can generate sparks and ignite flammable materials.

"This is the fourth fatal oilfield accident the CSB has investigated since 1998, which underscores the need for improved safety practices in this industry," Wright said. "It is our hope this video will be widely viewed in the U.S. oil production sector so that readily preventable accidents like the one in Mississippi are less likely in the future."

The video is based on CSB's final investigation report, which called for increased inspection and enforcement of OSHA safety standards at oil production facilities. This report was voted on and approved by the board in June 2007.

“Death in the Oilfield” is available for viewing and downloading at http://www.safetyvideos.gov. CSB also provides DVDs at no charge.

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