Sept. 8, 2015
3 oil well service workers killed in west Texas rig fire due to
ignition hazard and lack of flame-retardant clothing, OSHA finds
Agency cites Mason Well Service in Odessa, Texas, for 6 workplace violations
LUBBOCK, Texas - An Upton County oil rig inferno killed family members Arturo Martinez Sr., Arturo Martinez Jr. and Rogelio Salgado in March 2015 as they worked to install a blowout preventer, which seals, controls and monitors a rig.
After the fire, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation. OSHA cited employer Mason Well Service of Odessa, on Sept. 8 for one repeated and five serious workplace violations. The agency determined that the company failed to prevent contact between an ignition source and flammable liquids and gases, and did not ensure workers wore personal hydrogen sulfide monitors and flame-retardant clothing.
Parsley Energy in Midland owned the well and contracted Mason to install a blowout preventer.
OSHA has proposed fines totaling $50,400 for the citations*.
"This is a heartbreaking and senseless case," said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA's area director in Lubbock. "Though the fines for the serious violations are the maximum amount allowed by law, no dollar amount can ease the loss felt by family and friends."
An oil and gas well servicing company, Mason Well employs 120 workers. It has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Lubbock Area Office at 806-472-7681.
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
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Release Number: 15-1711-DAL
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