Limited Penalty Assessed to Snelson Pipeline Company for Killed Worker

by Duane Nichols on July 19, 2015

Snelson pipeline builder cited in worker death by OSHA

From an Article by Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, July 17, 2015

A pipeline construction contractor has been cited and fined $7,000 by federal officials following an investigation of the early January death of a worker on a project at Moundvsille. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Snelson Companies Inc. after examining the work site on Long Run Lane.

Steven Ray Hupp, 57, of Macfarlan in Ritchie County WV was killed on January 10th. OSHA cited “crushing internal injuries” that occurred when Hupp was pulled between the track and the frame of a sideboom crane as that equipment rolled backwards, downhill, from a parked position. Hupp was employed by Snelson, a pipeline services company based in Sedro Woolley, Washington.

OSHA said Hupp was working on a pipeline that would run from the Williams Ohio Valley Midstream gas processing plant near Cameron WV to the Blue Racer Midstream gas processing plant north of New Martinsville WV. OSHA inspectors cited Snelson for allegedly not ensuring that the tracks on the equipment Hupp was killed by were blocked when the machine was parked on a slope.

OSHA also alleged that Snelson did not train employees to safely park and block off equipment on such slopes. OSHA spokeswoman Joanna Hawkins said that the agency did not state a specific method for blocking the equipment, but just that it must “be secure and effective to prevent the machine from rolling.”

Last week, WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin formed a new commission to examine concerns about increased safety problems related to the boom in the natural gas business in West Virginia’s Marcellus Shale region. The governor had called for such a study six months earlier as part of this State of the State address in January.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

S. Thomas Bond July 20, 2015 at 10:34 pm

In WWII the government carried $10,000 insurance on the life of a soldier. Life has gotten cheaper in the fracking fields.


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