Patterson-UTI is a company that provides contract drilling services to areas with heavy mining and oil industries. They are hired at sites in Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and other states. Patterson-UTI supplies workers and rigs and does not get involved with production.
In the past decade, 10 workers at their contract sites have been involved in catastrophic and deadly accidents. Five more died in January 2018.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has fined the company for more than 140 different safety violations. The latest deadly accident adds fuel to speculation that Patterson is not improving their safety programs.
Patterson-UTI rebukes claims
Patterson-UTI insists they have made improvements to their safety and operations as a result of past failures with compliance. They state that they have created a culture in which safety is the number one priority for employees.
The oil and gas industry is dangerous and it is even worse for companies that are lax on safety. Experts say that when energy prices go up, as they have been, drill sites get busy. The incentive is to manage high production schedules – not to ensure worker safety.
Companies like Patterson-UTI have made choices in the past to overlook safety concerns. These companies may cut corners to meet demand. Furthermore, the increased need for workers at these sites means these companies hire less experienced people.
In some cases, deadly accidents occur because a new hire didn’t understand how to respond to a situation and the company was too busy to train.
Individuals who are injured or harmed because of negligence on the part of a business have legal options. It is advisable to speak to an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about those options and to seek compensation to cover damages and losses.