Worker's Electrocution at Texas Oil Rig Leads to $130,200 Fine

OSHA issued seven safety violations after an employee performing repair work on an oil drilling rig was electrocuted at the company's worksite near Ozona, Texas.

OSHA has cited Ringo Drilling I LP, headquartered in Tye, Texas, with seven safety violations after an employee performing repair work on an oil drilling rig was electrocuted at the company's worksite near Ozona, Texas, in June. Proposed penalties total $130,200.

The company was issued four serious citations for failing to provide training on the hazards of electrical equipment, provide guardrails to prevent workers from falling into a hole more than 4 feet deep near the well head, ensure proper use of stepladders, and properly guard electrical junction boxes.

Three repeat citations were issued for failing to protect workers from falls on platforms and other work areas by providing guardrails, inspect electrical cord sets, and ensure that electrical cables were provided with proper strain relief. OSHA cited the company in 2008 and 2010 for similar violations.

"Exposing workers to electrocution hazards without proper safeguards and training is inexcusable. This is not the first time the same employer has jeopardized the safety of its workers by failing to follow OSHA standards," said Jeff Funke, the agency's area director in San Antonio. "It is the employer's responsibility to create a safe and healthful workplace where preventable hazards don't cost workers their lives."

The company employs about 300 workers across West Texas.

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