TX Drilling Firm Faces Safety Fines

Friday, November 14, 2014 @ 05:11 PM gHale

Following a complaint about unsafe working conditions, Spradling LP is now facing $46,200 in fines for 13 serious safety and health violations for exposing workers to falls, struck-by, electric shock hazards and failing to guard rotating machinery parts at its Channing drilling site near Amarillo, TX, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Spradling LP is a drilling contractor that employs 45 people.

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During its Aug. 13 inspection, OSHA’s Lubbock Area Office found the employer did not take effective measurements of stairwells, which led to missing handrails and inadequate metal stair treading to prevent fall hazards. The company also failed to guard rotating parts of machinery and exposed employees to electrical hazards, by not having required outlet covers and improperly repaired electrical wiring.

Additionally, the employer did not provide emergency showers and first-aid supplies to employees working with corrosive materials, such as soda ash, inspectors found. A health violation was for failing to provide training on hydrogen sulfide. 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.

“The employer is endangering employees by not eliminating safety and health hazards at its drilling rig site, exposing workers to potential injuries or even death,” said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA’s area director in Lubbock. “Oil and gas operators have access to OSHA’s many tools and resources to help them stay in compliance and protect employees from hazardous conditions.”

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