An oil field pipeline explosion left one worker dead, while a construction incident claimed the life of another in new Mexico. These incidents, as well as others earlier in the year, have highlighted the need for accident prevention and behavior based safety programs on site.
According to KOB4, a local news station, a pipeline explosion south of Artesia, New Mexico, killed one worker who was trapped in a pit near the pipe. Three other workers were able to escape the area in time before released Hydrogen gases caught a spark from nearby pipe cutting. Furthermore, an incident in which pipes fell from a forklift at a pipeline construction site in Carlsbad, New Mexico also took the life of a trucker out of Texas working on the site. These incidents have added to several more across the Southwestern United States that have raised concerns over the quality of safety training.
Earlier this year in April, two workers were killed at a pipeline site in Texas, while nine others were injured in the explosion. According to the Huffington Post, the incident was caused by build up of pressure in a wellhead that was being switched out. While this was the first incident of its kind in 2014, it set concerns in motion over safety training and prevention methods in the oil and gas industry.
"Unfortunately, death and serious injury are not unusual among oil field workers," said Houston-based attorney Richard LaGarde in a press release. "But we must not simply accept this. Most oilfield explosions are preventable by industry-standard maintenance and safety precautions. It will be up to investigators to determine whether those procedures were properly observed at this well."
The optimization of safety is a responsibility across the industry, from drill to transportation, and constant training and improvement is necessary to prevent injuries and death.