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OSHA News Release
Region 4

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Region 4 News Release: 06-1509-ATL (183)
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Contact: Clyde Payne Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (601) 965-4606 (404) 562-2076

Triple Fatality at Mississippi Work Site Results in OSHA Citations for Oil and Gas Service Company

JACKSON, Miss. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Stringer Oilfield Services and proposed penalties totaling $40,300 following the investigation of a fatal accident at a Raleigh, Miss., work site.

The accident occurred on June 5 as employees welded pipes connecting used oil storage tanks. Vapors in one tank that contained oil residue traveled through the piping. Sparks then ignited the vapors. Subsequent explosions and fires resulted in the death of three workers and the hospitalization of another.

"These employees' lives could have been saved if this employer had followed the OSHA standards requiring purging of containers and piping prior to welding," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson, Miss., area director.

OSHA issued 13 serious citations to the company. The citations included allowing welding in an explosive atmosphere; failure to properly ventilate or take measures to prevent heat or sparks from entering piping and tanks; failure to provide fall protection for employees working on top of oil tanks; and lack of written safety programs for hazard communication, confined spaces and training for employees.

The company has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The work site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Jackson area office located at 3780 Interstate Highway 55 North, Suite 210, phone (601) 965-4606.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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