July 18, 2008 | Mark Paradies

CSB Press Release: New Safety Video on Fatal 2006 Oilfield Explosion in Mississippi, Emphasizes Safe Practices for Hot Work

The following press release is from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), Washington DC

Washington, DC, July 17, 2008 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today released a new safety video detailing an explosion that led to the deaths of three contractors at the Partridge-Raleigh oilfield in rural Raleigh, Mississippi, in June 2006.

All the victims were employees of Stringer’s Oilfield Services, an independent contract firm hired by Partridge-Raleigh to perform maintenance on oil storage tanks at the facility.

Entitled ‘Death in the Oilfield,’ the nine-minute video is based on the CSB’s final investigation report, which was voted on and approved by the Board in June 2007.  The video is available for viewing and downloading in the Video Room of the CSB’s website, Safetyvideos.gov as well as on the CSB channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/USCSB).  DVDs of the video will be provided at no charge through the online request form at CSB.gov.

The new video includes a 3-D computer animation depicting the sequence of events that led to the explosion, which occurred when sparks from a welding operation ignited flammable vapors venting from a storage tank.  The animation describes the preparation of the site by Stringer’s employees and the unsafe hot work that led to the accident.

The video, which includes interviews with CSB investigators and Board Member William E. Wright, highlights the key safety lessons and board recommendations from the CSB’s year-long investigation of the accident.  The investigation determined that neither Partridge-Raleigh nor Stringer’s Oilfield Services followed safe practices for hot work, which includes operations such as cutting, welding, and grinding that can generate sparks and ignite flammable materials.  The CSB’s final report called for increased inspection and enforcement of OSHA safety standards at oil production facilities.

‘This is the fourth fatal oilfield accident the CSB has investigated since 1998, which underscores the need for improved safety practices in this industry,’ Mr. Wright said.  ‘It is our hope this video will be widely viewed in the U.S. oil production sector so that readily preventable accidents like the one in Mississippi are less likely in the future.’

CSB safety videos have been viewed over one million times over the Internet since the launch of the program in December 2005.  More than 75,000 DVDs have been distributed to industry and labor groups, government agencies, safety trainers, educators, emergency responders, and individual requesters throughout the world.

For more information, contact Daniel Horowitz at (202) 261-7613.

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