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Region 6 News Release: 11-1145-DAL
Aug. 23, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd   Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710   972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov   rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Estis Well Service for
safety violations following worker's death near Bayou Sorrel

BAYOU SORREL, La. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited New Iberia-based Estis Well Service LLC for one willful and eight serious safety violations following the death of a worker at Rig No. 23 located near Bayou Sorrel.

"This company willfully jeopardized the safety of its employees," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "If the company had followed OSHA and industry standards, this tragic accident might have been avoided."

OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office began its inspection March 10 following a report that an employee was fatally injured when a land-based portable rig, which was mounted on a barge, tipped over and crushed the employee to death. The rig was being used to conduct remedial operations on an oil well to increase production.

The willful violation was for failing to ensure employees were protected from falls while working on an elevated drill floor by providing rails or personal fall arrest systems. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The serious violations include failing to utilize confined space permits; provide an emergency escape line or other form of emergency egress for employees working on the monkeyboard (a platform on which a derrickhand stands to handle the top end of a pipe as it is run into, or out o