The United Steelworkers union (USW) on April 20 urged the oil industry to monitor safety conditions at refinery construction sites in light of the April 19 death of a contractor on the Motiva Enterprises expansion project in Port Arthur, Texas.
The contractor was working for Becon Construction Company, a subsidiary of Bechtel Corporation. Counterweights were being put on a crane when the accident occurred about 8:30 a.m. The cause of the incident is being investigated by OSHA.
"The USW expresses its condolences to the family of the victim and to the other workers present at the site," said USW vice president Gary Beevers. "Any fatality is one too many."
There have been reports of four to five minor crane incidents at the expansion site before the fatal accident. The crane involved was supplied by Deep South Crane & Rigging Company. One of its cranes collapsed and killed four people at the LyondellBasell refinery in Houston on July 18, 2008.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. It represents workers employed in metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, atomic energy and the service sector.