CSB Releases New Safety Video on Aghorn Operating Investigation Titled “Silent Killer: Hydrogen Sulfide Release in Odessa, Texas”
July 29, 2021, Washington, D.C. -- Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its safety video into the October 26, 2019, hydrogen sulfide release at the Aghorn Operating waterflood station in Odessa, Texas. The release fatally injured an Aghorn employee who was working at the facility that evening, as well as his spouse who attempted to locate him at the facility after he did not return home.
The CSB's safety video includes a new animation of the events leading up to the incident, and interviews with both the CSB’s Chairperson and the Supervisory Investigator for this investigation.
In the video CSB Chairperson and CEO, Dr. Katherine Lemos says, “We urge companies operating oil and gas facilities to understand the findings from this investigation and implement appropriate safeguards and training. We need to work together to ensure that our workers and community members return home safely each and every day.”
Supervisory Investigator Lauren Grim reviews facts of the event, the six serious safety issues identified in the investigation, and the resulting recommendations.
The CSB made seven recommendations to Aghorn Operating, Inc. for safety improvements at all waterflood stations where the potential exposure to dangerous levels of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas exists.
The CSB also made two recommendations to federal and state regulators, OSHA and the Railroad Commission of Texas, addressing the requirements for protecting workers from hazardous air contaminants and from hazardous energy.
An Executive Summary of the final investigation report, to include an overview of the event, safety issues, probable cause, and recommendations, can be located HERE.
Chairman Lemos concludes by saying, “This tragic accident did not need to happen. This is a call to action for all companies, large and small, to step up to the plate to prioritize the safety of your workers and your community.”
For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at Hillary.Cohen@csb.gov.