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OSHA sites Union Drilling for repeat violations at PA natural gas well

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Texas based Union Drilling Inc. is facing workplace safety and health violations and proposed fines of $70,000 after an inspection of a Pennsylvania gas well by federal regulators.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Union Drilling for two repeat workplace safety violations at the Meyers Unit 1H natural gas well near Burlington, PA.

Violations included:

  • Failing to guard a floor hole
  • Failing to provide suitable eye and body-drenching or flushing facilities for employees exposed to corrosive materials

Repeat violations are those that are the same or similar to previous violations the employer received in the last five years. In this case, OSHA had cited Union Drilling for similar violations at work sites in 2009 and 2011.

"Union Drilling Inc. continues to put its workers at risk of serious injury or death by disregarding OSHA's standards," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes Barre Area Office in a release. "Employers are legally obligated to ensure a safe and healthful workplace, and will be held accountable when they fail to do so."

The inspection was part of the agency’s Local Emphasis Program (LEP) focused on the oil and gas industry.

Union Drilling has fifteen days to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the citations.