US Labor Department's OSHA cites Trinidad Drilling for exposing
workers to fall and electrical hazards at well near Barstow, Texas
DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Trinidad Drilling LP with one serious and two repeat violations for exposing workers to falls and electrical hazards at the company's Well No. 1H, Phantom Wolfcamp, located northwest of Barstow. OSHA initiated an inspection in November as part of the agency's Oil and Gas Regional Emphasis Program, which is designed to reduce fatalities and catastrophic events at oil drilling and gas wells. Proposed penalties total $79,805.
"Repeat violations indicate that Trinidad Drilling is failing to correct workplace hazards and continuing to make workers vulnerable to injuries on the job," said Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in El Paso. "It is the employer's responsibility to find and correct workplace hazards before workers are hurt."
The repeat violations involve failing to ensure electrical equipment was free from recognized hazards, such as electrical cords with insulation damage that needed repair, as well as 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 in September 2008 and again in June 2011.
The serious violation is failing to ensure the side rails of a fixed ladder extended 3 ½ feet above the landing to prevent workers from falling. 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.
Trinidad Drilling is based in Calgary, Alberta, and has several offices in Texas. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's El Paso Area Office or contest the citations and 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 Area 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.