OSHA cites 3 companies over rig blast that killed 5 workers near Quinton

OSHA’s cited three companies over the January 2018 deadly rig explosion and fire that killed 5 workers near Quinton, Oklahoma.

Patterson-UTI Drilling of Houston, Texas,  Crescent Consulting LLC of Oklahoma City and Skyline Directional Drilling LLC of Oklahoma City were cited for exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards in the incident.

The workers died when the explosion and fire trapped them in the dog house of the Patterson-UTI drilling rig.  Twenty-two workers were on the rig at the time and 17 escaped the explosion and resulting large fire that melted the rig. Patterson and Crescent were hit with three citations: failing to maintain proper controls while drilling a well, failing to inspect slow descent devices and failing to implement emergency response plans.

OSHA also cited all three companies for failing to ensure that heat lamps in use were approved for hazardous locations. The three firms face penalties totaling $118,643 which is the maximum allowed for violation of OSHA standards.


“These employers failed to properly control hazards involved in oil and gas extraction activities, and the result was tragic,” said OSHA Oklahoma City Area Office Director David Bates. “Employers are required to monitor their operations to ensure workplace health and safety procedures are adequate and effective.”

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The citations can be viewed herehere, and here.

Families of the 5 workers have filed lawsuits over their deaths. The five were: Josh Ray, 35, Matthew Smith, 29, Cody Risk, 26, Parker Waldridge, 60 and Roger Cunningham, 55.


As the Associated Press reported earlier in the year, Patterson-UTI has a history of fatal rig accidents. Ten workers were killed in the past decade at some of the company’s rig sites in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The AP reported the company was fined nearly $367,000 in the past ten years for more than 140 safety violations.

Last month, one of the company’s rigs caught fire in the Permian Basin but workers escaped unhurt. However,