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Patterson-UTI Drilling, Crescent Consulting LLC, and Skyline Directional Drilling LLC are all facing a fine of $118,643 for exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards after five employees suffered fatal injuries, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The explosion and fire occurred on a Patterson-UTI drilling rig near Quinton, Oklahoma, January 22.

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OSHA cited Patterson-UTI and Crescent Consulting for failing to maintain proper controls while drilling a well, inspect slow descent devices, and implement emergency response plans. OSHA cited all three companies for failing to ensure heat lamps in use were approved for hazardous locations. The $118,643 fine is the maximum allowed for violation of the 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.”

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The five workers who died include: 29-year-old Matt Smith of McAlester, OK; 35-year-old Josh Ray of Fort Worth, TX; 26-year-old Cody Risk of Wellington, CO; 60-year-old Parker Waldridge of Crescent, OK, and 55-year-old Roger Cunningham of Seminole, OK.

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