OSHA Cites Colorado Employers After Fatal Fire, Explosion

The explosion and fire occurred in Mead in May 2017 as employees were merging two tank batteries into a single tank battery operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. OSHA inspectors found that flammable vapors or gases ignited as employees worked near pipes connected to a crude oil tank.

OSHA has cited four Colorado employers – Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Energes Services LLC, Dominguez Welding LLC, and Unlimited Services LLC – for exposing employees to safety and health hazards at an oil and gas tank battery construction project where one employee was killed in an explosion and fire and three others suffered third-degree burns. The companies cited face $70,711 in proposed penalties, according to the agency's news release.

The explosion and fire occurred in Mead in May 2017 as employees were merging two tank batteries into a single tank battery operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. OSHA inspectors found that flammable vapors or gases ignited as employees worked near pipes connected to a crude oil tank.

The employers were cited for introducing potential ignition sources into work areas containing flammable gases or vapors, not isolating flammable gases or vapors from welding activity, and not adequately inspecting the work site and addressing safety hazards including an excavation.

Each company has held an informal conference with OSHA's Denver Area Office to discuss and attempt to resolve the citations.

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