Oil and gas company fined $39K after employee suffers fatal exposure to hydrogen sulfide

March 22, 2023
The worker was removing sludge water and oil byproducts from a sump pit when they were exposed to a fatal amount of hydrogen sulfide.

OSHA has cited Production Waste Solutions LLC for six serious safety and health violations and has proposed fines of $39,064 following the death of an employee. The worker was removing sludge water and oil byproducts from a sump pit when they were exposed to a fatal amount of hydrogen sulfide. The list of citations included failure to protect employees from exposure to hazardous materials, failure to properly train employees, and failure to perform hazard assessments.

In a recent quote, OSHA Area Director Diego Alvarado said, "Hydrogen sulfide exists in oil and gas deposits, and it occurs naturally in sewers, manure pits, well water and oil and gas wells, which is one of the reasons work in confined spaces is potentially dangerous. This terrible loss could have been prevented if Production Waste Solutions LLC had followed established safety procedures and provided federally required training and equipment."

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