July 16, 2018 — Patterson-UTI, the drilling company involved in a rig explosion in Quinton, Oklahoma that killed 5 men, has a long history of safety violations and deaths.
Lawsuits have been filed for the 5 men who died in January when an uncontrolled release of gas caused a massive “kickback” explosion.
Patterson-UTI is accused of failing to adequately train or supervise employees, as well as negligence and reckless conduct that resulted in the wrongful deaths.
In 2008, a U.S. Senate committee called Patterson-UTI “one of the worst violators of workplace safety laws” and detailed 13 deaths in Texas during a 4-year period.
Though the company has had fewer deaths in recent years, at least 24 workers died between 2004 and 2013, according to OSHA data.
Patterson-UTI has also accrued 196 OSHA violations since 2007, including 44 in 2010 and 48 violations in 2008.
Here are a few examples of deaths that resulted in OSHA investigations for Patterson-UTI:
- Nov. 4, 2013 — Barnhart, TX — At 2:30 a.m., an employee was installing a BOP and stepped between that and the rig substructure. The employee was crushed.
- Jan. 30, 2012 — Keene, ND — At 10:30 p.m., a furnace explosion occurred. Employee #1 was killed and Employee #2 received second degree burns to the face and hands.
- April 9, 2007 — Floydada, TX —Employee #1 was pulled into a rotating drum, cut into two pieces and pronounced dead at the worksite.
- May 29, 2002 — Buffalo, TX — Employee #1 was not using any form of fall protection and it had been raining, making the derrick slick. He slipped and fell 16 ft into the truck and was killed.
- May 6, 2002 — Denton, TX — Employee #1 fell backward and his head struck a chain guard. He was killed. The wire rope of the air hoist may have become entangled on the elevator latch, causing the stabilizer to fall.
- Nov. 23, 2001 — Midland, TX — Employee #1 was wearing a fall protection harness, but had not tied himself off. As Employee #1 tried to grab the pipe, he fell to his death still wearing his harness.
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