US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Precision Drilling for exposing
workers to safety hazards at drilling site near Pecos, Texas
EL PASO, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Precision Drilling Co. L.P. with two serious and two repeat safety violations following a November inspection of the company's Monroe 34-195 Lease, Phantom Field, Well No. 1H, Rig No. 553, work site, which is located 18 miles northeast of Pecos. Proposed penalties total $69,300.
The inspection was conducted as part of OSHA's oil and gas regional emphasis program, which is designed to prevent fatalities and catastrophic events at oil drilling and gas wells.
"This employer exposed its employees to high-voltage electrical and other hazards," said Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in El Paso. "It is fortunate in this case that there were no injuries."
The serious violations include failing to ensure portable fire extinguishers were kept in their designated places and to remove or repair damaged electrical cords. 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.
The repeat violations include failing to ensure stored material was stabilized and secured to prevent sliding and collapse, and to provide strain relief for flexible cords. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited last August with penalties totaling $35,900.
Canada-based Precision Drilling employs about 5,000 workers in the U.S. The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's El Paso Area Office or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321- OSHA (6742) or the agency's El Paso office at 915-534-6251.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.