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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-35-DAL
Mon., Jan. 12, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Grey Wolf Drilling Co. L.P. of Houston, Texas, for allegedly failing to follow safety regulations that could have prevented the deaths of two employees and serious injuries to another employee. Proposed penalties total $151,500 in connection with the July explosion at the oil and gas drilling company's worksite in Sullivan City, Texas.
"The Labor Department's significant fine of $151,500 sends a clear message that this Administration will not tolerate the violation of safety standards designed to protect workers," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
Grey Wolf Drilling, headquartered in Houston, was cited for one alleged willful violation of safety standards and six alleged serious violations, following an OSHA inspection that began July 14. The company employs about 2,200 employees nationwide. The 22 employees working at the Sullivan City worksite are employed at Grey Wolf's Alice, Texas, field office.
The alleged willful violation was for failing to cover floor openings and provide employees with protective safety belts. A willful violation is one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
The alleged serious violations included failing to install keeper pins (metal attachments) on pressurized lines, failing to secure pressurized piping systems, failing to properly maintain operating equipment, failing to provide electrical equipment designed for use in hazardous locations, and failing to properly dispose of sewage. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Grey Wolf Drilling Co. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA Corpus Christi area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health and Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the OSHA Corpus Christi area office at (361) 888-3420. OSHA's toll-free hotline number may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers at 1-800-321-6742.
OSHA is dedicated to assuring workers safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov.
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