Texas Drilling Company Cited for Safety, Health Violations

November 11, 2014

Following a complaint about unsafe working conditions, Spradling LP has been cited by OSHA for 13 serious safety and health violations for exposing workers to falls, struck-by, electric shock hazards and failing to guard rotating machinery parts at its Channing, Texas drilling site near Amarillo. Proposed penalties total $46,200.

During its Aug. 13, 2014, inspection, OSHA's Lubbock Area Office found the employer did not take effective measurements of stairwells, which led to missing handrails and inadequate metal stair treading to prevent fall hazards. The company also failed to guard rotating parts of machinery and exposed employees to electrical hazards, by not having required outlet covers and improperly repaired electrical wiring.

Additionally, the employer did not provide emergency showers and first-aid supplies to employees working with corrosive materials, such as soda ash. A health violation was cited for failing to provide training on hydrogen sulfide. 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.

"The employer is endangering employees by not eliminating safety and health hazards at its drilling rig site, exposing workers to potential injuries or even death," said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA's area director in Lubbock. "Oil and gas operators have access to OSHA's many tools and resources to help them stay in compliance and protect employees from hazardous conditions."

Spradling LP, a drilling contractor that employs approximately 45 employees, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.