Oil Field Accident Involves High-pressure Water Line For Fracking

A November 13 oil field accident related to fracking has taken the life of a Halliburton worker. He and two other Halliburton employees were attempting to thaw out a frozen high-pressure water line at about 9:75 a.m. when the accident occurred.

A spokesman for the Weld County sheriff's office said that the incident occurred at a well site just north of Colorado 66, near Mead, Colorado. Anadarko Petroleum had contracted with Halliburton to provide fracking services at the site, although those operations had not yet begun.

Water Line Ruptures

The sheriff's department spokesman stated that the accident happened when the high-pressure water line ruptured, spewing water that had been under a reported 3500 to 4500 psi. By contrast, a fire hose typically delivers water under less than 100 psi.

The impact of the water reportedly killed a 36-year-old man from Brighton, although the investigation into his death was still ongoing. A 48-year-old worker was airlifted to a hospital in Denver, and a 28-year-old worker was transported to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, as reported by the sheriff's office. Both were said to have suffered serious injuries.

OSHA Investigators Involved

The Denver area Director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicated that three OSHA investigators had arrived at the scene of the fatal event. He stated that the last fatality at a well site in Weld County occurred in August 2012 near Fort Lupton.

The OSHA area director went on to state that the most prevalent oil field accidents result from explosions, struck-by events and exposure to hazardous chemicals. By contrast, the November 13 accident involved water under extremely high pressure.

Although workplace accidents are typically covered by the workmen's compensation laws of each state, there are certain situations in which a defendant or defendants might be named in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Due to the potential complexity of each case, it may be helpful to discuss an accident with a lawyer focused on relevant areas of the law.

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