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Region 3 News Release:12-626-PHI (osha 12-043)
May 1, 2012
Contact: Joanna Hawkins   Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5101   215-861-5102
Email: hawkins.joanna@dol.gov   uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Texas-based Union Drilling for repeat
workplace safety and health hazards at gas well near Burlington, Pa.

BURLINGTON, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Union Drilling Inc. with two repeat workplace safety and health violations at the Meyers Unit 1H gas well located near Burlington. OSHA's inspection was initiated as part of the agency's Oil and Gas Service Industry Local Emphasis Program. Proposed penalties total $70,000.

The violations include failing to guard a floor hole, and provide suitable eye and body-drenching or flushing facilities for employees exposed to corrosive materials. Similar violations were cited at a Salladasburg work site in 2009 and a Waterville work site in 2011. 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.

"Union Drilling Inc. continues to put its workers at risk of serious injury or death by disregarding OSHA's standards," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes Barre Area Office. "Employers are legally obligated to ensure a safe and healthful workplace, and will be held accountable when they fail to do so."

Fort Worth, Texas-headquartered Union Drilling Inc. provides contract land drilling services and equipment to oil and natural gas producers, and employs 12 workers at the Burlington-area gas well. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, 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 Wilkes Barre office at 570-826-6538.

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 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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