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Five Workers Suffer Fatal Injuries After Explosion at Rig

Ten Patterson-UTI Drilling workers have died in the past decade, according to news reports.

 A Jan. 22, 2018 explosion at a Quinton, Okla. drilling rig caused fatal injuries to five workers. 

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.

“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 in a statement. “Employers are required to monitor their operations to ensure workplace health and safety procedures are adequate and effective.”

The five workers who died include: 29-year-old Matt Smith of McAlester, Okla.; 35-year-old Josh Ray of Fort Worth, Texas; 26-year-old Cody Risk of Wellington, Colo.; 60-year-old Parker Waldridge of Crescent, Okla.; and 55-year-old Roger Cunningham of Seminole, Okla., according to a McAlester News-Capital article.

According to the agency, Patterson-UTI and Crescent Consulting failed 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. Fines from resulting penalties total $118,643, the maximum allowed for violation of the OSHA standards.

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. 

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