The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited High Roller Wells Pearsall SWD No. 1 Ltd. for 10 serious safety violations following an explosion and fire that injured three workers at the company’s Pearsall, Texas work site.
The company disposes of hydraulic fracturing fluid and employs about 34 workers at the site, which is located at 3155 Spur 581. At the time of the incident, employees were injecting wastewater underground that was left over from hydraulic fracturing and drilling operations.[WCx]
The violations include failing to ensure that workers are provided with fall protection while working on the tops of tanks, ensuring that equipment and electrical wiring are rated for the environment in which they are being used, taking necessary precautions to prevent possible ignition sources such as sparks or static electricity, conducting a workplace hazard assessment to determine the appropriate personal protective equipment needed, ensuring that there is an emergency action plan in place and providing an eyewash station for employees working around acids.
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.
“Employers are responsible for ensuring that employees are provided a workplace free from recognized hazards,” said Jeff Funke, the agency’s area director in San Antonio. “If OSHA’s standards had been followed, it is possible this unfortunate incident could have been avoided.”
Proposed penalties total $46,200 following an inspection by OSHA’s San Antonio Area Office that was opened earlier this year.[WCx]
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL: www.WCManual.com
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.