Occupational Health & Safety

CSB Releases 'Death in the Oilfield' Video

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released a new safety video detailing an explosion that led to the deaths of three contractors at the Partridge-Raleigh oilfield in rural Raleigh, Miss., in June 2006.

All the victims were employees of Stringer's Oilfield Services, an independent contract firm hired by Partridge-Raleigh to perform maintenance on oil storage tanks at the facility.

Titled "Death in the Oilfield," the nine-minute video is based on CSB's final investigation report, which was voted on and approved by the Board in June 2007. The video is available for viewing and downloading in the Video Room of the CSB's Web site, Safetyvideos.gov as well as on the CSB channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/USCSB). DVDs of the video will be provided at no charge through the online request form at CSB.gov.

The new video includes a 3-D computer animation depicting the sequence of events that led to the explosion, which occurred when sparks from a welding operation ignited flammable vapors venting from a storage tank. The animation describes the preparation of the site by Stringer's employees and the unsafe hot work that led to the accident.

The video, which includes interviews with CSB investigators and board member William E. Wright, highlights the key safety lessons and board recommendations from CSB's year-long investigation of the accident. The investigation determined that neither Partridge-Raleigh nor Stringer's Oilfield Services followed safe practices for hot work, which includes operations such as cutting, welding, and grinding that can generate sparks and ignite flammable materials. CSB's final report called for increased inspection and enforcement of OSHA safety standards at oil production facilities.

"This is the fourth fatal oilfield accident the CSB has investigated since 1998, which underscores the need for improved safety practices in this industry," Wright said. "It is our hope this video will be widely viewed in the U.S. oil production sector so that readily preventable accidents like the one in Mississippi are less likely in the future."

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