Well Safety: New Clothing Mandate

Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 11:02 AM gHale

Safety comes first as all workers within 75 feet of an oil or natural gas well bore in Wyoming must now wear fire-resistant clothing under new state rules.

The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it is implementing the new rule, first approved by the governor-appointed Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Commission in October.

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The commission at the same meeting approved a rule mandating shutoff devices on diesel engines used on drilling rigs. Gov. Matt Mead signed both proposals into effect Jan. 8.

“As an industry, we were pleased to help work on those rules and we’re pleased to see them being implemented,” said John Robitaille, vice president of the Wyoming Petroleum Association. “We hope they do what they’re intended to do and save people from getting hurt in the jobs that they do.”

The commission approved the rules in October, but its rule making mandatory use of fire-resistant clothing near wells struck a chord with some of the smaller companies as being too costly.

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