Weatherford, Texas-based Legend Directional Services LLC was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and faces a more than $28,000 penalty, for violations of worker safety at the company’s Harpersville Reinforcement Project in Harpersville, Alabama, that resulted in a May 2018 explosion during which a worker was killed.
OSHA investigators determined that the explosion occurred because flammable welding gases were stored in an unventilated storage container at the facility. When the now-deceased employee opened the container door, the container exploded.
OSHA cited the drilling company for storing compressed welding gas containers and liquefied petroleum tanks in an unventilated container, failing to store acetylene and oxygen cylinders separately, and failing to train employees on hazards associated with flammable chemicals.
The worker was identified as Christopher Anderson of Mississippi. He reportedly died while assisting crew members during an installation of a gas line along the highway. OSHA fined Legend Directional Services $28,455 – the maximum allowed for the fatality-related citation.
“Employers who use hazardous chemicals in their workplaces are required to train employees on chemical safety data sheets and labels, and incorporate safety controls to protect employees from those hazards,” said OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director Ramona Morris. “This tragedy could have been avoided if the employer had followed required procedures for storing dangerous gases.”
Legend Directional Services has 15 business days to comply with the citation or contest the findings.