Supervision and human error blamed for fiery Pennsylvania death

On Feb. 11, 2014, a 27-year-old Chevron worker was killed in a gas well explosion that burned for four days in Greene County. The man had approached the well when he heard a hissing sound emitting from it and was burned in the explosion. A Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection report is blaming the incident on human error on the part of another worker as well as on a supervisor’s failure to ensure that a lock pin on the well was properly tightened.

According to the report, supervision of contractors by Chevron was spotty due to distractions and burdensome workloads of well site managers, which could have been a contributing factor in the breakdown of some safety procedures. This was allegedly evidenced by the fact that an inexperienced contract worker was allowed to perform a critical task like manipulating the lock pins on the well. The report also stated that the well site manager spent most of the day of the explosion doing paperwork in the trailer.

The deceased worker, the contract worker and the supervisor worked for Cameron International Corp. of Houston, which is involved in providing services that are involved in bringing oil and gas wells to production and then keeping those wells flowing. The company had no comment regarding the accident. The deceased worker was a resident of West Virginia at the time of his death. His family has filed suit against Chevron.

Workplace accidents that result in death can be a devastating blow to the family of the deceased. An attorney could help them with filing a workers’ compensation claim, which could help them with final expenses and possibly help compensate for loss of the man’s income.

Source: Yahoo! News, “Death at Pennsylvania gas well blamed on human error, poor supervision“, David DeKok, August 06, 2014

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