The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has levied fines totaling $108,000 against three companies in connection with a pipeline explosion that killed one man and injured three others last year in Smith County, Mississippi. The explosion happened on July 15, 2009 on a county road near Sylvarena. Workers were using nitrogen to pressure test the pipeline. During the tests, something caused the line to explode. According to OSHA, the lid on the separator where the pipes attached flew off, throwing portions of the massive pipe into the air.
An employee, James Lee Candler, was killed during the explosion and three of his co-workers injured. OSHA levied these fines against the companies listed: Mustang Engineering $65,000; Grand Bluff Construction Co., of Beckville, Texas $38,500; and Priority Energy Services, of Chicago $49,000. Clyde Payne, of OSHA, stated:
There were known issues employees shouldn’t have been exposed to. There should have been steps taken to protect employees.
There has been a rash of pipeline explosions over the past year. Most of them involved testing the pipelines.
Source: Associated Press
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