OSHA calls on fracking industry to stand down

OSHA in January called for a voluntary “stand down” for all oil and gas employers in fields all across Texas and four other states – temporary work stoppages meant to draw attention to potentially life-threatening risks. So far, 88 companies have signed up to participate in events through Feb. 28.

Overall, workplace deaths have dropped in Texas but not in the oil & gas industry.

You need to go read the story about Sergio Rincon and the last time he saw his wife. Get your tissues ready.

No oil patch employer had more recent OSHA-reported deaths in Texas than Nabors Drilling USA LLC and its sister company Nabors Well Services, both subsidiaries of a Bermuda-based corporation with headquarters in Houston. The companies reported five deaths statewide, and two more in North Dakota and Wyoming from 2007 to 2011.

OSHA found violations on all the sites where there were deaths and the company was fined but the fines are so ridiculously low they will not be a deterrent. The initial fines were $104,375 but were cut in half when Nabors contested.

The Texas Railroad Commission and TCEQ also cut fines. Next time you get a parking ticket in Dallas, try throwing a fit about it and see how fast they cut your fine in half.

CEO of Nabors received $16 million in compensation

UPDATE: new trailer from Josh Fox on worker safety.  Link is fixed.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. says

    jobsjobsjobsjobs HEY $52K yr babysitting these storage tanks….this one at UTA see infrared video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcRzEJw04A8&feature=player_embedded 1minute and 19 seconds into the video of what you WON’T be seeing, but that you WILL be breathing…


    Petroleum Storage Tank Investigator (Arlington)

    POSITION: Petroleum Storage Tank Investigator
    AGENCY: University of Texas at Arlington. Division for Enterprise Development (Austin Office)
    LOCATION: Arlington
    TITLE: Petroleum Storage Tank Investigator
    EFFECTIVE DATE: Position available immediately

    STATUS: These positions will be filled by persons with the capability to become Independent Contractors to the University of Texas at Arlington. A Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN #) will be required or must be obtained before employment may begin.

    PAY RATE: Candidates will be compensated on a deliverable task basis. Potential pre-tax earnings : $4,400 per month, plus mileage


    Additional Information
    Purpose of position: Conducts PST field investigations to determine compliance with 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 334 utilizing TCEQ checklists.

    Essential functions: Conducts technical field inspections, surveys, follow-up investigations, studies and prepares reports. Completes required checklists and documentation for data entry of investigations into the compliance database. Reviews files for data entry accuracy and makes necessary corrections.

    Marginal/Incidental functions: Other functions as assigned.

    Required qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate. No experience required and training provided. Applicants must include in their online resume the following information: 1) Employment history: name of company, period employed (from month/year to month/year), job title, summary of job duties and 2) Education: If some college or college degree, list school name, degree type, major, graduated or not, and hours completed if not graduated. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

    Preferred qualifications: Experience with PST investigations or other related environmental activities. OSHA 40 hour Personal Protection course, or other safety training. Excellent communication skills. Organized and careful attention to detail.

    Working conditions: May work in all weather conditions. May work in extreme temperatures. May work around chemical fumes. May work around standard office conditions. May work around chemicals. May work around electrical and mechanical hazards. Repetitive use of a keyboard at a workstation. Use of manual dexterity. Climbing of stairs. Climbing of ladders. Lifting and moving. Traveling is required for this position with some assignments requiring overnight stays.

    Must have reliable transportation for travel to site locations and a valid driver’s license. Must have internet and home office capabilities. Security Sensitive; criminal background check conducted.

    The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disabilities, veteran status, or sexual orientation. All positions at The University require a Criminal Background Check. Employment offers are contingent upon the results of the Criminal Background Check. Effective August, 2011 UT Arlington will be a tobacco free campus.

    Applications: Email cover letter and resume to janiem@uta.edu for the attention of Janie Munoz, PST Field Operations Team Leader, Center for Environmental Excellence, Division for Enterprise Development (Austin Office). Please include PST Investigator — Application in the subject heading of the email.

    Location: Arlington
    Compensation: Potential pre-tax earnings : $4,400 per month, plus mileage
    Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
    Please, no phone calls about this job!
    Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

  2. GhostBlogger says

    Wyoming requires fire-resistant clothing near oil and gas wells



    “The commission approved both rules in October, but its rule making mandatory use of fire-resistant clothing near wells rubbed some the wrong way.

    Smaller oil and gas and wellfield services companies complained that the clothes were too expensive to mandate. Anadarko Petroleum Co., a major oil and gas producer in Wyoming, also said the clothing would only protect workers from flash fires.

    Many larger companies required the clothing before it became mandatory.”

  3. GhostBlogger says

    Oil well near Fort Collins sprays fracking fluid


    FORT COLLINS — After nearly 30 hours, oil-laden fracking fluid has stopped spraying from an oil well east of Fort Collins.

    The well started spraying green-tinted fluid following a mechanical failure Monday morning. Ken Hall, who lives on property next to the well site, says workers stopped the leak around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

    Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission spokesman Todd Hartman says that after equipment fell due to hydraulic failure, a valve broke, leading to the discharge of flowback, which refers to hydraulic fracturing fluid that has returned to the surface after being injected into a well.

    The well operator, PDC Energy, says a berm contained the liquid.

    State oil and gas regulators say there were no injuries and no threat of explosion.