TX Well Site Fatalities Bring Safety Fines

Friday, September 11, 2015 @ 02:09 PM gHale

An Upton County, TX, oil rig inferno killed Arturo Martinez Sr., Arturo Martinez Jr. and Rogelio Salgado this past March as they worked to install a blowout preventer, which seals, controls and monitors a rig.

Mason Well Service of Odessa, TX, is facing a $50,400 fine for one repeated and five serious workplace violations, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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An oil and gas well servicing company, Mason Well employs 120 workers.

OSHA investigators determined the company failed to prevent contact between an ignition source and flammable liquids and gases, and did not ensure workers wore personal hydrogen sulfide monitors and flame-retardant clothing.

Parsley Energy in Midland, TX, owned the well and contracted Mason to install a blowout preventer.

“This is a heartbreaking and senseless case,” said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA’s area director in Lubbock. “Though the fines for the serious violations are the maximum amount allowed by law, no dollar amount can ease the loss felt by family and friends.”