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OSHA Cites Antero Contractor After West Virginia Worker’s Death

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a contractor that worked at an Antero Resources Corp. well site in Tyler County, WV, where a worker was killed last year when he was struck by a front-end loader.

Calgary, AB-based Precision Drilling LP was cited for failure to provide a workplace "free from recognized hazards," according to OSHA. The agency discovered the violations during an investigation after Ryan Dunn, 29, of Jackson County, WV was killed on site in November. The agency said Dunn was "struck by or caught between hazard from a front-end loader" as it was moving pipe, equipment and other supplies.

It was discovered that the equipment was being operated with "restricted rear visibility" in reverse and lacked a left-side rear-view mirror. In addition to that citation, OSHA also found that Precision failed to provide fall protection on site with an unguarded hole near a mud tank. The company was also cited for failing to provide or require its workers to wear respirators near the mud tank.

OSHA issued the citations in mid-May and proposed a penalty of $13,550. Precision was given an opportunity to contest the violations by the end of the month, but it is unclear whether they did. The company has not commented about the incident or OSHA's findings.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is soon expected to issue an executive order detailing requirements for a study to ensure better safety at oil and gas drilling sites after an increase in fatal accidents over the last decade with the rise in unconventional drilling in the state.

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