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Another Oilfield Worker Killed On Patterson UTI Rig In Pennsylvania- 2 Deaths This Week!

Drilling worker crushed to death in Northwest Pennsylvania

April 6, 2012 10:16 am

TIONESTA, Pa. -- Investigators say a 24-year-old drilling worker has been fatally crushed by a large piece of pipe at a natural gas well site in rural northwestern Pennsylvania.

Forest County Coroner Norman Wimer says Brandon Pennywell, of Harrisburg, was killed instantly when the pipe slipped, crushing him between it and a large beam. A team of workers was placing the pipe together with another piece about 8:20 a.m. Thursday in Tionesta.

Pennywell was employed by Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., a subcontractor hired by Seneca Resources.

Seneca spokesman Rob Boulware says the company is investigating the accident and doing "everything we can to prevent it happening again."

Drilling has yet to begin though site preparation at the well is nearly finished. The well is about 80 miles north northeast of Pittsburgh.

Source: Post Gazette.com

Comment by Daniel W Gilbert on April 6, 2012 at 11:47am

what does everyone expect im sorry that a 2nd person has been killed but as before in the past patterson has had a history when things get busy they start slacking in the safety and they start haveing fetalities, what we (the supervisors) need to do is slow down a little take the extra step to double check the work order before it is started, I am sure this may have been avoided if an extra step may have been in place, we need to protect our workers they we have as you all know there is not to many of us experienced people left in todays oilfield.

Comment by Russell Dwayne Olivier on April 6, 2012 at 12:02pm

Well said Daniel.

Comment by Brian Precision 557 on April 6, 2012 at 12:15pm

God bless this mans family.  There is no reason for this ever.  Accidents do happen, but most can be avoided by following the exact job steps for the task at hand.  Half of our lives are spent on the rig doing the same things every tour.  It's easy to get complacent, but we just cant.  I hate to hear this!!!


Comment by Russell Dwayne Olivier on April 6, 2012 at 12:20pm

Amen Brian. Many believe our industry is so violent, that we have to except accidents.

I disagree. When you build a fine tuned team, the team will win everytime.

Comment by daniel wolosin on April 6, 2012 at 12:32pm
I know that accidents happen, but injuries don't just happen. With proper training, communication, and leadership no one should be hurt. In every jsa body position is a suggested procaution for avoiding injuries. This tragedy is a direct reflection of the leadership that young man was exposed to. Truely a sad situation , our prayers are with the family, friends, and coworkes
Comment by John Josey on April 6, 2012 at 12:43pm

Everyone on each and every drlg rig should look out for every body on that rig and make corrections as needed to keep any person safe working on drlg rigs. Your right Russell. Some people think its violent and it's not really if we practice safety every day. Take it home with you also. The national safety institute says there more people falling off latter's, out of trees trimming limbs breaking legs and arms then any thing. But if every one watches out for each other, it will be a safer better place to work. God Bless that man's family.


Comment by Jeffery Jones on April 6, 2012 at 1:25pm
Let's all take a minute away from the blame games to say a prayer for these two men and their families. Always a sad day in our industry when we lose personell.
Comment by Robby Mosley on April 6, 2012 at 1:27pm

At one time I worked for Forex-Neptune.This was 30 years ago.The mindset concerning safety, as far as Forex was concerned was, there is no such thing as an accident.When I first heard that ,I thought, "These guys are crazy". But if you think about it, it's true.Every single time someone gets hurt it is preventable.EVERY SINGLE TIME.Every 2 months we recievec a world safety report and broke down each accident to figure out why did it happen? And what could of prevented it. Most injuries happen for very simple reasons.Lack of training,fatigue,lack of proper supervision, using improper equipment to do a job and a few various other reasons.If a job is properly thought out, with the right people,training, and tools there is no reason that hands should be getting hurt or killed.So sorry to hear that another family has suffered the ultimate loss. My thoughts are with them.

Comment by Gabriel Gaona on April 6, 2012 at 1:38pm

That's bad that a man has to loose his life out here. My prayers go out to his family and friends.

Comment by Gary M. Eason on April 6, 2012 at 1:54pm

you are right God bless and be with the family of this young man,i spent 17 yrs. in the oilfield then was laid off when our new government took over somtime back,and it does have to do with upper management not having the experience,all of it can be prevented,when i was a driller and toolpusher i trained and stayed with my hands,helping them to understand the dangers involved.I never had an employee hurt any way.you know some of us older hands have tried to get back in the patch but they tell us we are to old at 47 yrs. Gary Eason

Comment by Russell Dwayne Olivier on April 6, 2012 at 1:56pm

I think it is safe to say, many have taken a timeout to pray for our team members who have passed on !

I also believe that this and these kind of discussions can be used as a *lessons learned* observation through exchanging positive communication through *OUR* IADC GROUP, rather than calling this a blame game.

Safety begins with *ATTITUDE*!!

Comment by Norseman on April 6, 2012 at 2:21pm

I'm not so sure I agree with the statement "in the past patterson has had a history when things get busy they start slacking..." I worked on a drilling rig with Patterson people in WY and I found them to be top-notch, very thorough on everything including safety. They were on a rough neck's case immediately upon seeing them with poor body placement or using incorrect techniques.

IMO, most of the time its not the Patterson team, but the company man that's putting on the pressure and causing people to work beyond what is reasonably safe. I worked with one company man (NOT from Senaca btw) that thought he was god when it came to drilling, but he was actually one of the biggest fools I've ever met in my entire life. And he talked safety a lot, but it was all BS.

Comment by Gene Creech on April 6, 2012 at 3:38pm

Having worked on locations for minor and majors, I would think that the smaller operators are too concerned about cost versus safety. We are in a new era for the oilfield where we have so many SSEs coming on line. Many times these young men are hesitant to ask questions, as many (as we did too) feel that they are bullet proof. We must make sure that we take time to mentor and train these young men in such things as "proper body placement". Sounds good, but what does it mean in each task that we are asking them to do. May God bless and care for these families.

Comment by Jesse on April 6, 2012 at 3:41pm

I have worked for Patterson in West Texas and they are getting alot better on their training standards. Now for the man without any experience, they make you go through acouple days of classroom  training and then you go out to a rig for about a week to just stand there and learn before you're assigned a rig. It's a shame that these men died on their rigs. One of the main questions that is asked in todays oilfield is "Who is in charge of your safety?" and the normal answer would be Yourself. Just like driving down the highway, you can't always count on the other drivers to look for your safety so it's about the same on the rig. It takes awhile to know the other men on your crew so you have to watch out for youself so you don't get hurt and don't put yourself in a bad situation.

Comment by russel bergoon on April 6, 2012 at 4:21pm
Gary so true. What they need is more experienced people that interact with the crews not just house sitters (pushers) and drillers that have 4 years experience they can run a joy stick get more experienced people and lets stop hurting and killing people. Now Patterson might think about hiring more experienced people
Comment by James (JLOVE) Love on April 6, 2012 at 4:46pm
You have a point Patterson does need more experience! I work for Patterson and I have been with this company for 3 yrs! And in them years I have seen lots of worms get promoted to driller or pusher! I am talking about people with 1 yr ex. Getting on the brake handle or pushin tools! They don't even want to hire any old school hands! But it is what it is! And my prayers go out to this mans family! It's just sad a not only 1 man had too lose his life but 2 men have lost there lives to inexperienced higher ups on them rigs! You have a lot of drillers and pushers that ignore safety ! But it's there to enforce and by me being a driller I will always make sure I take that time out for safety and I don't care who out there don't like me shutting down! Cause I am going to shut down ESP if it comes to someone getting hurt or killed!
Comment by Russell Dwayne Olivier on April 6, 2012 at 5:00pm

I applaud your comment James. Leadership can't be intimidated, but unfortunately it is at times. It is true, our industry is getting away from the ole school folks, some of us don't bounce like we use to, leading companies to feel the liability strain. But like you said, it is what it is. At almost 53 it's getting hard to stay employable, due to many chronic affects some people my age and older deal with.

This is my last comment on this post. We have church this evening and I plan to pray as hard as I can for these team members and their families.





Comment by Michael Taylor on April 6, 2012 at 7:21pm

Who knows who is at fault for this accident. We shouldnt be so hasty to blame someones lack of safety when we dont even know the details. But on that note, Every task in todays oilfeild has a job procedure and a job safety analysis. These instruments as yall know are put into place to prevent accidents, look at potential hazzards, abd how to prevent them. Usually if you follow these guidelines then you are working in a safe manner, however things do happen every now and then that are uncontrolled. I agree that todays oilfield is moving personnel up the ladder faster than they are able to comprehend what the hell is going on. They just know enough to get by, just enough to get someone killed. Its tragic. I would never hire a driller that had less than three years under his belt as a trainee driller? Making up stands in RIH and turning to the right does not make you a driller. When I broke out, I had and understanding of steel, could listen to the hole, knew what kind of mud I needed to pump, could teardown a DW and put it back together..and soo much more that todays guys miss... or skip...or never experience.... As long as you have worms running an operation, be ready for more fatalities...

Comment by Bruce D. Heinrichs on April 6, 2012 at 8:34pm

someone needs to give that Ron scandalara a slap/wake up call,along with the rest of the safety personnel for patterson,he like so many others never worked a day in his life in the oilfield,he came over from Tucker Drlg co,as a bean counter doesn't know the first thing about a drilling rig!!!

Comment by mohd daud hassan Chalkie on April 7, 2012 at 12:59am

 It is always sad to hear about one of our brothers gets hurt and killed. My condolence to the family.Hindsight is the best teacher if we take the time to really commit to what we learn. However, economics always makes us forget.Sadly, we repeat ourselves. It is perceived by many that safety management in drilling is the same as safety in a factory that is producing hubcaps. Afterall, you can still smash your hand if you don't focus. I believe that the experience hands; can contribute to our industry as mentors and instructors. This "experience foresight"cannot be learned in a text book or at "Google". ( We have lots of Google safety supervisor out there!!!). The experience hands can spot potential hazards (keyword: potential) through understanding about all that is involved in an operation; fatique, psychological pressure, mechanical and rotary hazards.Typical in a POOH.Mt alst word is; Do not discount experience because we cannot run as fast as the young, supposingly dont understand about econimics. The reality of economics is when you have some one who dont come home because of some stupid person's mistake.That person; Mr Economic;can be you.



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