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Region 6 News Release: 11-1438-DAL
Oct. 4, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd   Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710   972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov   rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Odessa, Texas, gas and oil drilling
company for exposing workers to unguarded machinery and other hazards

GARDEN CITY, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Odessa-based J. B. Hunt Gas and Oil Drilling of Texas LLP for 12 serious violations, including exposing workers to electrical hazards, unguarded floor holes, inadequate eye protection and hazards involving unguarded machinery. Proposed penalties total $53,460.

"This company has exposed its employees to preventable workplace hazards," said Diego Alvarado, OSHA's acting area director in El Paso. "Employers are responsible for protecting workers, and the best way to do that is by following OSHA's standards."

OSHA's El Paso Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection at the company's Lomax No. 11, Well No. 1, Rig No. 3 work site in Garden City under the agency's Oil and Gas Regional Emphasis Program.

The violations include failing to use electrical components according to how they were listed and labeled, ensure that equipment was effectively grounded, properly maintain exposed electrical circuits, provide employees with personal protective equipment, ensure industrial machines were properly guarded, and guard open holes and sides on walking and working surfaces. 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.

J. B. Hunt Gas and Oil Drilling, which employs about 130 employees statewide, has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's acting area director in El Paso 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 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.

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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.


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