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Region 6 News Release: 13-1591-DAL
Sept. 5, 2013
Contact: Diana Petterson      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4709
Email: petterson.diana@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Heartland Drilling Inc. in Abilene, Texas, cited by US Department of Labor
for exposing workers to heat stress

ABILENE, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Heartland Drilling Inc., based in Abilene, for exposing workers to hazards associated with excessive heat. OSHA initiated its inspection after a worker, engaged in drilling operations on the rig floor of a drilling site in Big Spring, was overcome by the June heat and rushed to a hospital where he died.

"This tragedy underscores the need for employers to take proactive steps to keep workers safe in extreme heat," said JoAnn Figueroa, OSHA's area director in El Paso.

The serious violation was cited for exposing workers to hazards associated with excessive heat. 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.

Information about OSHA's campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses among outdoor workers can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/heat. OSHA also has a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. It is available for download on Android-based platforms and the iPhone at http://www.osha.gov/heatapp.

The proposed penalty totals $6,930. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the 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 workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), the agency's El Paso Area Office at 915-534-6251, or the Lubbock District 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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.


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