Oklahoma event to stress oil-field safety

Oklahoma oil and natural gas industry officials will gather Thursday to discuss safety measures after the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration logged nine work-related deaths and one other catastrophic accident since Oct. 1.
by Jay F. Marks Published: June 21, 2012

Producers, service companies and other operators will stand down Thursday to discuss the recent rise in fatal accidents in Oklahoma's oil fields.

There have been nine work-related deaths and one drilling rig fire classified as a catastrophe because three workers were hospitalized since Oct. 1, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

David Bates, OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City, this week called for all exploration and production companies in Oklahoma to participate in a voluntary safety stand down.

The Mid-Continent Exploration and Production Safety Network and Oklahoma Department of Labor joined in the request.

Preventing accidents

Diana Jones, director of the labor department's Safety Pays consultation program, said Thursday's event at the Cox Center will include an overview of the Oklahoma accidents so industry officials can learn from them and prevent them in the future.

Jones said she is proud of the industry's response to the accidents, which involved six drilling companies and four service companies.

“They're the ones making this happen,” she said.

Continental Resources Inc. is spreading the safety message to its workers across the country, said Rick Muncrief, the company's senior vice president of operations.

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by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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