Two workers were seriously injured
Oil and gas company Kelt Exploration (LNG) Ltd. has been fined $88,149.58 following an explosion during which two workers were seriously injured.
Kelt Exploration, which is headquartered in Calgary, was the prime contractor at a natural gas wellsite in Wonowon, B.C., at the time of the incident.
The incident occurred when a subcontracted firm was using a vacuum truck to clean a pressure separator vessel of waste materials, said WorkSafeBC. This included flammable hydrogen sulfide (H2S). An explosion occurred, and two workers subsequently sustained serious injuries.
Following an investigation, WorkSafeBC found that the vacuum truck had not been bonded and grounded while being used with flammable substances. They also found that the concentration of H2S in the pressure separator vessel was too high, being 50 per cent higher than acceptable limits.
“In addition,” says WorkSafeBC, “as the firm did not follow safe work procedures related to issuance of safe work permits, a site-specific fire and explosion prevention plan was not developed. Electrical safety procedures were also not followed by the firm's workers to prevent or minimize static electricity hazards.”
Furthermore, they says, “the firm failed to ensure that a flammable gas did not exceed 20 percent of the lower explosive limit, and failed to ensure the sources of ignition resulting from the work of one employer were controlled in a work area where flammable gas was handled by another employer.”
WorkSafeBC says that these are both high-risk violations.
Additionally, they say that as a prime contractor the firm failed “to ensure that health and safety activities of all persons at the worksite were coordinated, and failed to analyze the risks associated with the release of gas and implement safe work procedures accordingly. These were both repeated violations. Finally, the firm failed to provide workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety.”