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Click Here For Dawson County Sheriffs Report Concering Robinson Drilling Rig #3 Fatal Accident __________________________________________________________
CBS 7 News
June 13, 2011
Big Spring, Texas -
A Big Spring family is questioning the safety of Robinson Drilling, just days after Sandy Daves and Jason Bolt were both killed on the company’s drilling rig number 3.
Sandy Daves had only been working on Robinson Drilling Rig #3 for one week before he and his best friend, Jason Bolt were killed this past weekend.
“I’m burying a best friend and I’m saying my goodbyes to my brother”, says Sandy’s sister, Anna White, in tears.
OSHA is investigating the incident but cannot comment right now because of the investigation’s status as “open”.
Sandy’s sister wants Robinson to take action.
She says her cousin Ryan Locke died on Rig #3 on April 1st of 2010.
When Locke died, the rig was shut down for several days but that’s not the case this time around, despite two fatalities on a single day.
“They need to inspect everything and do a full, thorough inspection on this rig”, says White.
Many family members of those who have been lost say that Robinson Rig 3 is old and needs to be taken out of commission. They say it has proven to be dangerous time and time again.
So CBS 7 spoke with Robinson’s President, Mike Robinson on Monday. We asked him about the issue but he refused to comment about why so many accidents have occurred at the same company on the exact same rig.
The loss of Sandy and Jason mark the third death on rig three in the past 13 months.
“It took my son who is 29 years old with 7 kids. Now they have no father at all to take care of them”, says Sandy’s mother, Zeita Mase.
Sandy’s wife has hired an attorney, but says that she is already struggling to pay for the funeral and support her kids without the help of her husband.
Robinson’s owner, Mike Robinson, refused to tell us where the rig is located when we spoke with him at the company headquarters Monday afternoon.
But we later located the rig in Lamesa, just off County Road 19.
Sandy’s sister says that despite the death of two men less than two days ago, the rig is already up and running, once again.
“Enough is enough. The families can’t take any more. My brother and my best friends aren’t even laid to rest. They have it up running again the day after my brother passed away and he’s not even in the ground you know”, says White.
According to Sandy’s wife, another man was killed on a Robinson Drilling Rig back in 2004.
Both families described multiple injuries on Robinson equipment during the past few years.
CBS 7 will continue to investigate Robinson’s record this week.
Update June 14th
After 5 Deaths and 27 Citations - Drilling Company is Under Scrutiny 6/14/11
CBS 7 News
June 14, 2011
Big Spring, Texas -
Accidents can happen at any job and the oilfield is no different.
But with four deaths in the last 14 months, some family members are now questioning the Robinson Drilling Company of Big Spring.
OSHA is now investigating Robinson for almost the 30th time in the last 10 years, following the death of Sandy Daves and Jason Bolt on rig #3 Saturday.
The deaths were the third and fourth at Robinson since April of last year.
Now a man who was paralyzed on a Robinson rig is speaking out.
Four Robinson Drilling employees have died since April 2010, three of them on rig number three, which is now in Lamesa, where Sandy Daves and Jason Bolt died Saturday.
In 2004, Dusty Painter was working a Robinson Rig in Upton County when falling metal struck him and Jesse Perkins.
Perkins was killed and Painter was left a quadriplegic.
"I'm paralyzed. I've got partial movement in my arms. I can barely move my fingers", says Painter, the father of two girls.
OSHA data indicates that Robinson has a history of problems including 27 citations from 2002 to 2010, 16 of them repeat violations.
But the dollar amount Robinson was fined may surprise you.
OSHA issued almost $53,000 in fines to the company, but Robinson only paid $43,000.
That discrepancy is not uncommon.
A 2008 senate report found that OSHA penalties are consistently low and routinely reduced in settlement negotiations.
In fact, the average penalty for a non-fatal violation is just $234.00
The average for a fatal accident is about $2,500.
Dusty says unless fines are harsher, companies will not take safety seriously.
"If you were to throw the owner's money in there... if they were to get more citations, yeah, they're going to be a lot rougher on the people to be a lot safer", says Painter.
He also believes that Robinson's equipment needs an upgrade.
"Robinson is still working old style. They're not upgrading all their rigs to the newer types where machines do dangerous work for the people".
We called OSHA today with several questions, but they would not grant an interview and did not provide answers to our questions.
THE AFL-CIO has been harshly critical of OSHA saying quote:
"Clearly for most employers these levels of penalties are not sufficient to change employer behavior, improve workplace conditions or deter future violations".
Robinson was cited in relation to the death of Ryan Locke in April 2010 and the death of Wade Bennett in May 2010.
The Dawson County Sheriff's Office incident report indicates that hard hats weren't enough to protect Sandy Daves and Jason Bolt when equipment broke off on their rig.
It now remains to be seen what OSHA will do in light of the most recent deaths on Robinson Rig 3, and how the company will respond to any potential action.
"I'm pretty sure all the companies have a bunch of problems with their rigs. I worked for a bunch of different companies and they were always trying to be safe but it's not the right kind of job to be safe in", says Painter.
We contacted Mike Robinson Monday but he refused to comment.
Robinson, the owner of Robinson Drilling did not pick up his office line when we called this afternoon to ask about his company’s many citations and accusations of old equipment.
Now checking the OSHA Website
From OSHA website-More Violations Cited At Robinson Rig #3 Below
On or about April 1, 2010, on Robinson Drilling Rig #3, located near the intersection of Highway 158 and FM 1788 in Midland, Texas, employees were not trained in the hazards of using an air winch and a sledge hammer on ball valves that were under approximately 3000 pounds of pressure. Among others, feasible means of abatement include insuring that all employees are properly trained to work with high pressure equipment.
On or about October 3, 2009, employees of Robinson Drilling of Texas Ltd. were repairing a pump engine with Rig #3, located at a well site in Midland County, Texas. Although this engine was locked out and removed from service prior to that work, a hammer union connection on the pipe providing compressed air to the starter motor for that engine was not inspected to verify that it was operationally intact and that it had a retaining line on it to prevent the line from moving should it come loose. Employees were thus exposed to the hazard of being struck by the pipe in the event that the hammer union came loose when compressed air was supplied to the starter motor. One feasible method of abatement of this hazard is to examine and test the coupling and verifying that it had a restraining line on it prior to applying pneumatic pressure to an air line containing one.
From the OSHA website could this be the citation for this accident?
On June 15, 2010, Robinson Drilling Rig #4 was equipped with a cantilever style mast derrick made by Lee C. Moore (Serial #T2507). Following a hard pull, the derrick collapsed. Employees were thus exposed to the hazards of being struck by or crushed by a collapsing derrick. One feasible method of abatement would be to use more extensive methods of testing, such as ultrasonic testing on older rig and derrick structures before placing them in service; to ensure that repairs are made by welders certified in accordance with AWS D1.1 or equivalent to ensure that all welds used to repair a drilling derrick be completed in accordance with the requirements of AWS D1.1 or equivalent and to examine completed welds to verify that adequate repairs have been made.