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Region 6 News Release: 11-1652-DAL
Nov. 18, 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 Ringo Drilling for safety violations
following electrocution of worker near Ozona, Texas

OZONA, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ringo Drilling I LP, headquartered in Tye, with seven safety violations after an employee performing repair work on an oil drilling rig was electrocuted at the company's worksite near Ozona in June.

The company was issued four serious citations for failing to provide training on the hazards of electrical equipment, provide guardrails to prevent workers from falling into a hole more than 4 feet deep near the well head, ensure proper use of stepladders and properly guard electrical junction boxes. 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.

Three repeat citations were issued for failing to protect workers from falls on platforms and other work areas by providing guardrails, inspect electrical cord sets and ensure that electrical cables were provided with proper strain relief. 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. OSHA cited the company in 2008 and 2010 for similar violations.

"Exposing workers to electrocution hazards without proper safeguards and training is inexcusable. This is not the first time the same employer has jeopardized the safety of its workers by failing to follow OSHA standards," said Jeff Funke, the agency's area director in San Antonio. "It is the employer's responsibility to create a safe and healthful workplace where preventable hazards don't cost workers their lives."

Proposed penalties total $130,200. The company, which employs about 300 workers across West Texas, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Ringo_Drilling_I_LP_315625079_1117_11.pdf*.

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 San Antonio office at 210-472-5040.

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.


* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.


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