Pressure Pumping Services Company Cited for Forklift, Crane Hazards

June 17, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited PumpCo Energy Services Inc. for 14 safety and health workplace violations for exposing workers to hazards at the company's maintenance facility in Valley View, Texas. The violations address inadequate forklift and crane training, as well as a lack of maintenance and safety procedures.

OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office opened an inspection on Dec. 19, 2012, in response to a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. Proposed penalties total $72,900.

The serious safety violations include failing to take effective measures to prevent employee entry into permit confined spaces; failing to ensure proper personal protective equipment is worn at all times to prevent eye and overhead injuries; provide permit confined space training, forklift training and daily inspections on overhead cranes; train overhead crane operators; label overhead crane controls; ensure hook and sling inspections were conducted; maintain a comprehensive listing of chemicals being used by workers; and provide hazard communication training for working with hazardous and toxic chemicals.

The two serious health violations were cited for failing to provide medical evaluations and conduct fit testing for workers required to wear respirators. 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.

"PumpCo Energy Services jeopardized the safety of its employees by failing to ensure proper confined space entry procedures were followed to protect workers from possible hazardous atmospheric conditions," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth. "Employers are responsible for recognizing the hazards that exist in their workplace and for implementing the proper policies and procedures to protect their employees from serious injury."

PumpCo Energy Services, which is an oil and gas industry pressure pumping services company, employs about 1,100 workers nationwide. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Fort Worth area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.