The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that it will impose fines of $40,3000 on Stringer Oilfield Services following the investigation of a fatal accident at Raleigh, Mississippi, in June.
The accident occurred on 5 June as employees welded pipes connecting used oil storage tanks, says OSHA. Vapours in one tank that contained oil residue travelled through the piping. Sparks then ignited the vapours. Subsequent explosions and fires resulted in the death of three workers and the hospitalization of another.
OSHA issued 13 serious citations to the company. The citations included allowing welding in an explosive atmosphere; failure to properly ventilate or take measures to prevent heat or sparks from entering piping and tanks; failure to provide fall protection for employees working on top of oil tanks; and lack of written safety programs for hazard communication, confined spaces and training for employees.