Sunday, August 7, 2011

One more danger with gas drilling

Read the post from a gas and oil blog. We thought this info might be important.

Hello: My name is Carl L. Mc Williams, I AM married to Karen and we live in Garfield County, Colorado. There are over 10,000 active CH4 (methane) gas wells inside Garfield County, Colorado.

I spent one full year working on these CH4 wells. I was employed by LONKAR US LTD. a Canadian company and I worked on a "swabbing rig". We were not part of the exploration (drilling). We serviced existing and producing natural gas wells. A swabbing rig is a "workover-rig" and our purpose was to remove water from the well that had stopped the flow of natural gas in a producing well. It turns out that the water we were removing was residual "fracing" water and we were never informed of the benzene and other chemicals that exist in this "production water". In March of 2008, my swabbing rig was working on a well site where the gas company had reused the same "fracing" fluids in an attempt to save money. The problem with that is the reusing of "fracing" fluids causes the manifestation of H2S, (Hydrogen Sulfide Gas) which, in doses above 50 ppm for 30 minutes is deadly. My co-worker died and I spent three months in workers-comp recovery. My employer and the billion dollar energy company basically lied and covered-up their gross negligence in ordering my co-worker and I to expose ourselves to the deadly H2S without proper safety equipment, such as supplied-air-respirators. Federal OSHA fined my employer. I blew the whistle to OSHA and was fired for doing so. My whistleblower case with OSHA is still pending and I have been black-balled from the industry.

That said, I do want to bring to your attention a very deadly practice that is taking place on every "fracing" job site. "Fracing" uses silica sand in the "fracing mix". The truck drivers, pulling "sand-cans" (box-car-size-trailers) full of silica sand arrive at the well site and using high pressure pumps unload from the "sand-cans" the silica sand into the "fracing tanks". During this process there is created a silica sand dust cloud that is much more dangerous than asbestos. Just as cut glass will lacerate the flesh of your arm, this silica sand dust is an airborne particulate, that when breathed into the lungs will cause lung damage that is a quicker death than asbestos exposure and extremely painful for the victim. I informed Federal OSHA of this danger to Americans but nothing has happened from OSHA yet.

Therefore, I am informing you folks. The gas drilling industry has an expression: "WELL-FIELD-TRASH". The corporate officers of the natural gas industry considers all of their well workers to be "TRASH". The worker safety-protection measures on these gas well sites is non-existent. Pass the word about the silica sand dust these Americans are breathing.

Carl Mc Williams Silt Mesa, Colorado,


Anonymous said...

Mr. McWilliams is a very brave man to come forth and tell his story. God bless him for doing so.

As Calvin Tillman says, "As long as you know, you can't say that you don't know"--unless you're from the industry and you're lying. Well, if you have read Mr. McWilliams first-hand account from a field worker who did get sick and may end up with lung cancer, you now know.

Let's all rise up to put pressure on OSHA to do what they are mandated to do. Protect human health and not allow the oil and gas industry to harm, and much worse, murder their employees.

Anonymous said...

Our country has truly been taken over by the bad guys. In past decades, OSHA would have shut down this industry for endangering their employees. It's important to remember that all of this changed because of the people that held power and their relationship to O&G in the last decade. Government only works to protect us if they have the ability to do so. OSHA has clearly been muzzled.

Anonymous said...

I heard about this from a friend several months ago -- said that 2 successive sand truck drivers became severely ill (lung cancer) after only 6 months of delivering it and I heard that they add the radioactive isotopes to the sand before it's delivered. It made my blood crawl then and now it does even more.

I've also heard that the trucks that deliver the chemicals to our sites here in town are not marked with a hazardous sign, so people think they are harmless, like they apparently used to be before 2005 ( got that from a chemistry major that used to work for the industry and that it was the same chemicals in the toy putty children play with). This person thought I was being an alarmist.

I know another person in the industry in another State that still thinks their chemicals are innocuous. Makes me think their trucks aren't marked there, either.
I agree we need to put pressure on OSHA.
As far as "field worker trash" goes, since when is the value of a life measured by a person's vocation? Every life is God given. One person's trash is another's treasure, isn't it.

Thank you for being brave enough to share this with us.