Precision Drilling Faces Safety Fines

Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 10:02 AM gHale

Precision Drilling Co. L.P. is facing a fine of $69,300 for two serious and two repeat safety violations following a November inspection of the company’s Phantom Field site, located 18 miles northeast of Pecos, TX, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The inspection was a part of OSHA’s oil and gas regional emphasis program, designed to prevent fatalities and catastrophic events at oil drilling and gas wells. Canada-based Precision Drilling employs 5,000 workers in the U.S.

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“This employer exposed its employees to high-voltage electrical and other hazards,” said Joann Figueroa, OSHA’s area director in El Paso. “It is fortunate in this case that there were no injuries.”

The serious violations include failing to ensure portable fire extinguishers were kept in their designated places and to remove or repair damaged electrical cords. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard the employer knew or should have known.

The repeat violations include failing to ensure stored material was stable and secure to prevent sliding and collapse, and to provide strain relief for flexible cords. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations 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. The company faced similar violations last August with penalties of $35,900.

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