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Region 6 News Release: 11-1255-DAL
Sept. 26, 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 Snyder, Texas, drilling company
for serious and repeat violations of safety and health standards

ODESSA, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Patterson-UTI Drilling Co. LLC for four serious and two repeat safety violations. OSHA's El Paso Area Office opened an inspection at the company's Aunt Bee Well No. 15, Rig No. 80 work site in Odessa as part of its Oil and Gas Regional Emphasis Program. Inspectors found that employees were exposed to various hazards while drilling for oil without the required safeguards. Proposed penalties total $72,600.

"This company repeatedly has exposed its workers to a variety of safety violations that could easily cause serious injuries," said Diego Alvarado, OSHA's acting area director in El Paso. "It is the employer's responsibility to keep the workplace safe."

The serious violations involve failing to protect employees from "caught–between" and "struck–by" hazards, periodically inspect fire extinguishers and properly guard industrial machines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The repeat violations include failing to keep electrical equipment free from recognized hazards and to utilize proper grounding procedures. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five y