US Labor Department's OSHA cites Houston-based Nabors Drilling USA for
exposing workers to safety and health hazards at 2 oil rig drilling sites in Texas
HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Houston-based Nabors Drilling USA L.P. with three serious, four repeat and three alleged other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to numerous safety and health hazards at one oil rig drilling site in the city of Beaumont and a second in Liberty County. Proposed penalties total $152,100.
OSHA's Houston North Area Office began its investigation of both rigs on Nov. 17, 2011, as part of the agency's regional emphasis program on the oil and gas industry, and found that platforms were not properly guarded, emergency escape lines were kinked and eye wash stations did not function properly, among other hazards.
The serious violations include failing to follow manufacturers' safety requirements for emergency escape lines, provide guardrails on walkways next to hazardous equipment and adequately maintain a derrick ladder. 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 guard floor holes, provide a guardrail system or equivalent fall protection at other openings, and provide access to emergency eyewash and shower stations. 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 at a Corpus Christi oil rig in 2009.
The other-than-serious violations include failing to ensure the proper use of electrical equipment and maintain the required injury and illness record-keeping logs. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
"The hazardous nature of oil and gas operations requires employers to take aggressive and comprehensive practices toward workplace safety and health," said David Doucet, OSHA's Houston North area director. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that employees are protected from possible injuries and illnesses."
The citations can be viewed at
Nabors Drilling employs about 7,000 workers nationwide. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston North 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), the agency's Houston North office at 281-591-2438 or its Houston South office at 281-286-0583.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.