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Texas Man Killed While Rescuing Coworker at a Drilling Site

A Texas man died while working on a drilling rig on Monday, February 21. The fatal industrial accident occurred when two employees were moving pipe around a drilling rig in Midland County.

It's believed that the pipe slipped from their hands, trapping one of the workers' legs under the heavy pipe. As the 44-year-old worker tried to rescue his fellow worker, the pipe slipped , crushing the man. He was transported to Midland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The other man whose leg was harmed in the accident was also transported to the Midland Memorial Hospital. He is not believed to have life-threatening injuries as a result of the oil rig accident.

Family of the man killed in the accident said that he knew the oil rig was a dangerous place but that he enjoyed it because he made good money. He leaves behind a 10-year-old son.

Both the oil drilling contractor company that employed the man and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are conducting investigations to determine the cause of the pipe slip. OSHA will be reviewing the site's safety procedures at the drilling rig and will conduct an intensive review required after a fatal workplace accident.

While oil rigs and drilling sites are dangerous places to work, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees. This means that they need to implement safety protocols, follow OSHA workplace guidelines and maintain the work site to avoid safety hazards. If an industrial employer fails to follow safety guidelines, it's likely that they may lose their ability to continue the job.

In this case, it's unclear whether the drilling contractor will be allowed to continue drilling at the site of the accident. The oil probe project, if it's allowed to continue, is expected to take up to six months to complete. This is the second industrial accident in Midland County this year but it is the first fatal accident.

Source: My San Antonio "Seguin Man Dies in Drilling Accident," Eva Ruth Moravec, 2/23/2011

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