Smith Co. Oil Field Explosion Preventable

Smith Co. Oil Field Explosion Preventable

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board recently concluded that the deaths of three workers at Smith Co. in Jackson, Mississippi last year, in an industrial accident, were preventable.

Chairwoman Carolyn Merritt reported the explosion was due to a combination of avoidable mistakes that were caused by a lack of safety on the field’s work grounds.

Fatal Explosion

The explosion occurred after workers failed to clean a tank that was attached to the welder’s work spot.

The welder’s torch released hydrocarbon fumes that poured out of an open pipe attached to one of the tanks.

When the explosion occurred the tops of the tanks were ripped off and the men were thrown 20 feet to the ground.  

Investigation Unraveled

After investigating the cause of the spill for a year, investigators finally related the industrial accident to unsafe work conditions.

“We are very concerned that the practices in the oil fields, not just in Mississippi, but in other locations around the country, are very unsafe and that operators are not taking the precautions that are required in order to protect workers,” says Merritt.

OSHA cited the company for violating 13 safety guidelines.

Suggestions Made by the OSHA

OSHA can only make recommendations in these types of circumstances so they suggested to Stringer, the oil company involved, that they implement serious safety guidelines and that the Oil & Gas Board should establish a program for routine inspections to prevent these types of serious injuries from occurring again.

(Source: Picayune Item)

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