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3 Workers Killed in Upton County Oil Field Accident

Three workers were tragically killed after an oil field rig exploded in West Texas. One other worker was at the site during the explosion, but fortunately that worker suffered only minor injuries.

The accident happened Tuesday morning near Rankin, which is approximately 40 miles south of Midland. According to investigator Dusty Kilgore of the Upton County Sheriff’s Office, a pulling unit crew was at the site when the explosion occurred. The Sheriff’s office responded to the accident and the Rankin Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the accident site.

The pulling unit crew had been working on an existing well owned by Parsley Energy of Midland. According to a spokeswoman for Parsley Energy Inc., the operations at the site were conducted entirely by a third-party contractor. Officer Kilgore did not know the statistics for oil filed deaths in the area, but he thinks “the last fatality was the middle of last year, off the top of my head.”

The Texas Permian Basin, which is where the accident occurred, is one of the biggest oil producing regions in the United States and one of the most active drilling sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is in the process of investigating the oil field rig explosion. The Upton County Justice of the Peace also reported that the accident is “still under investigation.”

Oil Field Explosions and Fires

Explosions and fires pose significant risks for workers at oil field drilling sites. According to OSHA, oil field workers are exposed to the risk of fire and explosion due to the ignition of flammable vapors and gases. These dangerous vapors and gases can be released from a variety of sources, including trucks, production equipment or surface equipment. There are numerous different ignition sources that can cause an explosion or fire, such as cutting and welding tools, static, and frictional heat.

To reduce the risk of explosions and fires, OSHA recommends that employers take certain preventive measures for the safety of their workers and workplaces. These include:

Providing spark arrestors for internal-combustion engines;

Locating “spark producing” equipment or facilities well away from potential hazard areas;

Prohibiting vehicles with catalytic converters from the immediate vicinity of the rig; and

Prohibiting open flames from the vicinity of the rig.

Employers at oil and gas sites have a responsibility and legal duty to maintain a safe workplace for workers. Unfortunately, however, employers often are lax in their standards and workplace oversight. When this happens, the workers can suffer severe injuries up to and including death. If injured in a work-related accident, it is important to reach out to an experienced work accident attorney.

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If you or a loved one were seriously injured or tragically killed in an oil field accident, contact our oil field accident attorneys for a free consultation.

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Contact the Texas Oil Field Accident Lawyers from Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact our Undefeated oil field accident attorneys in Texas at Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

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We proudly serve Harris County, Midland County, and throughout the state of Texas:

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers – Houston
2700 Post Oak Blvd #1000, Houston, TX 77056
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