Stanley Thomas Wright’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of Nevada OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, Rebel Oil Company. The 47-year-old was working in August 2014 at a railyard in North Las Vegas, NV. Wright was asphyxiated while working inside a tank car. I wrote about the incident shortly after it was reported by local press.
Inspectors with Nevada OSHA conducted an inspection at the railyard following Wright’s death. The agency recently issued citations to Rebel Oil for three serious violations and proposed a $11,475 penalty. The violations involved failing to evaluate the hazards of a confined space, failing to inform workers of the danger posed by confined space, and failing to take prevention measures related to entering the confined space. Rebel Oil is contesting the citations.
When some local press initially reported Stanley Thomas Wright’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. Nevada OSHA’s findings tell a different story. Call it cutting corners, call it poor management, call it breaking the law. Whatever you want to call it, Stanley Thomas Wright’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.