Oil Driller Faces Safety Fines

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 04:03 PM gHale

Palestine, TX-based Mercer Well Service is facing $71,500 in fines for five repeat violations after an inspection of Rig No. 39, 15 miles northwest of Pyote, TX, Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials (OSHA) said.

The Nov. 16 inspection was part of OSHA’s Oil and Gas Regional Emphasis Program aimed at preventing fatalities and catastrophic events at oil drilling and gas wells.

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At this inspection, OSHA inspectors found four workers exposed to possible injuries from unguarded platforms, a lack of fire protection and caught-between/struck-by hazards while trying to retrieve a piece of broken pipe in a well hole.

The violations include failing to provide guardrails for employees working on platforms 7 feet above the ground, provide standard railings on open sides of stairways, ensure that fixed stairs were uniform in rise height, provide required protection in case of fire and ensure that workers were protected from caught-between/struck-by hazards.

Mercer Well Service employs 800 workers nationwide.

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